Roland Garros

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Paris, France

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Press Conference


5-7, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You played well against a player you have struggled with in the past. How pleased are you with your performance?

ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Yeah, of course I'm very pleased first of all because I won. I always say, I mean, a win is a win. I love winning no matter how. Sometimes an ugly win is also good. But today especially was I think a very good quality match.

Me also coming back from being a set down where I also had a lot of chances in the first, I still found my rhythm back and energy to pull it through, so yeah.

Q. You are on a very good run on clay. How did you work to reach this level again? I heard you work with your brother.

ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Well, I'm not going to go into details how I work (smiling).

It's just I think also mentally, as I've said earlier, I'm enjoying the hard work now. My brother is there with me on discipline as well on the court. We work on some particular stuff, tactical as well. He's there behind me every practice, pushing me quite hard.

Yeah, it's just trying to learn new habits, I guess, and just working harder, trying to enjoy the process as well and believe in that, too.

Q. You talked a lot about this in Madrid, kind of how down in the dumps you were at certain times during the COVID break, feeling like maybe the tour had passed you by. Here you are back in the quarterfinals. Was it a fleeting thought about potentially stopping? Was it something you genuinely considered?

ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Well, to be honest with you, even making the quarterfinal of Australian Open last year, '20, sometimes like you have a very good run at the tournament, but you still don't feel confident with your game, with yourself. I never could understand why is that happening, why is it like this.

Every time I would have a good result, that's why I think a lot of times it was on and off, like I couldn't be consistent enough. Also for some reason I never felt confident enough going into the next tournament. I guess that's also I somehow wasn't really enjoying the way I was playing, even though of course I had a lot of great matches, really happy with the way I was playing at that particular moment.

In general, overall, I was not understanding maybe fully, Okay, maybe here I do this, there, like tactically what I'm doing. Sometimes I was winning matches like a robot. I was just closing my eyes and hitting the ball because I know how to do it. That day the ball was in. Most of the times was also happening.

Finally now I start to really work on my game, trying to find this consistent game that I want to play. That also gives me a lot of confidence. That kind of is something I would like to keep, progressively go into the next matches.

So I guess that also reason why I was always down on myself, thinking, Okay, what's the point really continue playing like this?

Q. Can you compare reaching the quarterfinals this year to a decade ago? Which one is more meaningful, if you can make that distinction?

ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Yeah, tough to remember what I felt 10 years ago. I'd say completely different. I'm very happy also now. I think I feel a little different. I feel like more mature. It's a good moment, I'm enjoying it, but I've got work to do next matches.

I'm kind of in the present, where before I was like, Oh, my God, quarterfinal. Oh, what's happening? When I was actually playing quarterfinal, I was so emotional. I will never forget that match. 6-1, 4-1 up against Schiavone. I was just so in the emotions. I was like everywhere. I was too young. I didn't know how to handle it. I think it was my first quarterfinal at a Grand Slam.

Back then I was a little bit all over the place. I didn't know how to handle it.

Q. Looking back that far, how much do you feel you're a different player now and in what ways?

ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Yeah, I guess, again, I think I'm more mature. I hope I show more maturity-ness as well, smarter tennis, more consistent. I feel quite fit, as well, considering the fact that, like I've said, I'm not the youngest on tour now, but still feeling good.

Yeah, I'm also enjoying much more than before. I understand, I know what I have to do, I know what I want to do, trying to work for that. You enjoy that much more. Like you're really in the present, so that's nice.

Q. You talk about the confidence. How much has that confidence helped you get over the finish line, wins that may not have come to you a few years ago?

ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Yeah, now I feel good but quite normal. Like I'm not super emotional. I'm happy, but still I will enjoy this moment now today, but of course tomorrow it's a new day. I got to go prepare for the next matches. I have doubles tomorrow.

It's a little different. Like you can't afford yourself to be so much in the emotions. Yeah, just taking it day by day, moment by moment, and then we'll see.

Q. Have you been asked about Azarenka's comments about the tournament? She was saying the French Open is not treating the women well by giving them only one of the night sessions so far, history at the French Open of women getting worse court assignments. What do you make of those statements from her?

ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Of course, we both were in the players council before. We both had those conversations. We were sitting with her at the same table arguing with the tournament directors, Wimbledon, Roland Garros.

I mean, I accept it that we will probably never really be sort of equal in terms of television and popularity maybe. I don't know if I should really waste my energy and time fighting over this because right now, I mean, I'm doing my job, I want to win matches. And I really don't mind, honestly with you, if I play on Court 2 or Philippe Chatrier. Okay, it's nicer.

In the end of the day what I want is to win the tournament and play good. I don't feel like wasting and talking about this. Yeah, that's my opinion.

Q. You seem to be comfortable here in Paris. You speak French. How does this Grand Slam compare to others? What is your relationship like with the crowd and the tournament?

ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Funny because when I was a set down, I was losing the first set, I lost it, the beginning of the second I was looking at my shoes, at the clay. I was thinking, I hate clay so much. What I'm even doing here in Paris? I was saying this to myself (laughter).

But now I won and I really love this tournament and I love clay. So, you know, it's always like this.

Yeah, I mean, of course I like this event a lot. It's very special to me. Also back 10 years ago was the first quarterfinal here. I used to live and practice in Paris. I know the city really well.

Also, yeah, I actually like clay (smiling).

Q. There's a number of junior champions at Roland Garros or other slams who have made it pretty deep this year. Obviously you had a pretty epic junior career. Can you speak about how much winning a junior slam sets you up for senior success or doesn't, and how tricky that transition can be?

ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA: Yeah, I only can speak for myself. I don't know how others they handle it. Depends on your environment and your team and people who surround you.

Speaking for myself, that was a very tough transition for me. I was putting too much pressure on myself because for some reason I thought that when I was 14, 15, being No. 1 in juniors for two years, almost winning everything, I thought in two years I have to be top 10 in the pros already. That was sort of my approach. Team around me also, they believed in me, which was good.

At the same time, again, I didn't know how to handle that pressure. Nobody could really explain me. They just kind of expected me to do well.

That also very difficult to play with. It's like a lot of weight on your shoulders. When I was not achieving some sort of results in my head that I had, I was super down on myself. To me it was the worst time. I was not enjoying at all. Every time I was playing, for some reason I felt like I have to win.

Yeah, also like I had a really amazing run back in 2009 during Indian Wells. I was only 17. That was also very tough to handle after. You need to have a good environment and right people around you to really support you in this and explain things. You have to have the right approach, for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
108442-1-1063 2021-06-06 14:17:00 GMT

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