Roland Garros

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Paris, France

Daria Kasatkina

Press Conference


6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It must be tough to play a close friend, but why do you think you were so in control on form today?

DARIA KASATKINA: Well, yeah, I played a really good match today. It's always difficult to describe why you play today good or the next day you play not so good.

So for me it obviously is better to play the morning when the ball bouncing better. I think today it was very important point, because I like when the ball bounce higher, Belinda doesn't. So I think this was the a little bit important point of this match.

Q. You served brilliantly and played some kind of great rallies off that, in control off that. Is that something you have been working on, switching up, or it just arrived at the right time?

DARIA KASATKINA: Well, of course I'm working on these things all the time because this is the part of my game, and many girls doesn't like the change of the speed, of the height and everything. Yeah, this is like advantage for me. I'm working a lot of these kind of things.

The only problem is that the girls are hitting so hard is sometimes it's very difficult to change the speed and the height.

Yeah, but I'm working on it.

Q. You obviously did really well here in the past. You got quarterfinals in 2018. How do you feel you have changed as a player and a person since the 2018 run here?

DARIA KASATKINA: A lot have been changed because between this time, 2018 and now, there was one amazing year for me, which was important as well in a good and in the bad way. I learned a lot, and I think I become a little bit different, maybe more experienced, a bit more serious. Let's say I understand more why I'm winning or why I'm losing.

At that time everything was just going with the wave, and I was not thinking that much. Now I'm more -- yeah, I'm just more analyzing more what's going on in the situation I'm in.

Yeah, getting maybe a bit more mature.

Q. I saw a really interesting documentary, I forget the name, just generally what was it like for you to open up and speak so freely about your private life? How did you find that experience?

DARIA KASATKINA: Well, it's always not easy, especially to talk about it when you know that a lot of people will find out about everything.

But I'm happy in the end to talk about it, because we are the way we are, and it's maybe stupid to trying to be a different person or to be someone that people want you to be. I didn't want that, and I'm trying always to be open and true self. That's what I did, and I'm happy of that interview.

Q. Just in general, because I'm obviously on the outside as a reporter, but do you feel like tennis is inclusive and open, a welcoming sport generally for players?

DARIA KASATKINA: Seems like (smiling). Yeah. We have many players open up. Let's say me, I don't know everybody, but I think so me, I feel safe in the tennis community, which is great.

Q. You spoke in that documentary about potentially retiring in 2019. I just wondered if you felt happier on and off the court just in general. Do you feel more at peace?

DARIA KASATKINA: I mean, I don't know. I think for the professional athletes what's going on on the field, in my case on the court, everything is going to your life. If you're not happy on the court, you are not going to be happy in your life, especially if you're ambitious, I mean, if you have big goals. That's what was going on with me. I was not happy being on the court. That's automatically transferred to the life, to my mind.

Yeah, I was starting to think like maybe I have to do something else to be happy, but that was just a bad moment, which was quite long I think. Maybe not too long and not too short.

Yeah, and I have to just went through this situation and I'm happy that I had, I don't know if it's right to say, experience, but this background and I start to understand myself better, which is also very important.

Q. What kind of help do you feel those harder or tougher days in terms of tennis, what kind of kept you going and got you back to a happier place?

DARIA KASATKINA: Well, the people around, for sure. People around which helped me a lot who were next to me and trying to help, giving me good vibes all the time and a psychologist as well, I was working with a sports psychologist also was a good deal.

Yeah, I mean, professional sport is tough and is getting more and more competitive. It's difficult especially when you are quite young and you get some success at the beginning of your career and you want more and more and more, but in one point you start maybe losing a little bit and you think that everything is falling apart.

You have to have the right people around you who can explain you that it's absolutely normal and you have to just keep going. Doesn't matter what. And work on yourself, work on your mind, and don't let the bad thoughts come into your head.

Q. Can you say when you were working with a sports psychologist? Are you still now?

DARIA KASATKINA: I was working very active during the lockdown. Let's say end of 2019. Then the whole year, 2020. Very intense and during lockdown, because it was tough for everyone. Now I'm working more with myself, because I got a lot of information, a lot of good experience and everything during this I think year and a half, working very intense with a sports psychologist, and now I also want to do a little bit more by myself.

Q. A little bit more lighthearted now, I have seen you're pretty top drawer on TikTok and there...

DARIA KASATKINA: I'm losing to Gavrilova anyway already.

Q. I saw her one of you, a target, which was a bit mean.

DARIA KASATKINA: That was mean from her (smiling).

Q. Wondered if there is any kind of Paris theme, one coming up or what makes a good TikTok or good social media video?

DARIA KASATKINA: Well, it's tough because you have to, you need a lot of time and a free mind. So the ideas are coming very easy, which I don't have now obviously, because the tournaments, a lot of tournaments, working and, yeah. Fortunately I don't have time anymore for the TikTok and making videos. Maybe offseason or when I have a little bit of time between the tournaments. So far -- I hope I will not have this time.

Q. Finally, I know you're a big Barcelona fan. I've seen a lot of players who keep (indiscernible) on the men's and women's side. Firstly, how is your football, how is your soccer, and what other players do you think would be good on the WTA side?

DARIA KASATKINA: Well, obviously Carla is very solid. She's very good in soccer. I think Ash Barty. She can do good because she's in many sports. I think quite many girls can do good in soccer.

I forgot the first part, Barcelona?

Q. What about yourself? Have you played or how is your football?

DARIA KASATKINA: I played a lot with my brother when I was younger, and then when I started more professional, the soccer, it's a little bit -- well, it's not a little bit. It's quite dangerous, you know, for the tennis players because a lot of contact and everything, but sometimes we are playing for fun or we are playing on the court over the net.

I think I'm playing not bad. Sometimes I even beat him in this game over the net, so I'm quite successful in these kind of things.

Q. Euro 2020 coming up, linking to that, if you could pick a kind of five-a-side for the WTA squad, five players you could pick for a team, if there was five-a-side match or is that too difficult?

DARIA KASATKINA: That's a bit tough, because I have to choose between skills and friends (smiling). That's tough. Some of my friends -- I mean, for example, I am friends with Anett Kontaveit, but she has no idea how to hit a soccer ball (smiling). So I have to -- you know, that's tough to find the balance in these things. Obviously I need more time to think.

Q. Back to the tennis. What would it mean for you for a deep run here? I know you have done very well here in the past. What would it mean for you to go further into the quarterfinal stage again?

DARIA KASATKINA: Well, the thing that I already went far, one or two Grand Slams for sure would help me, because it's experience and it's always new to face these kind of matches like quarterfinals and further.

So in case that I go that far, which will be amazing always, I think for sure this experience would help me. But as I say, I have a third-round match after tomorrow, and that's my main goal for the moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
108225-1-1145 2021-06-02 12:10:00 GMT

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