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September 5, 2014

Caroline Wozniacki


7-6, 4-3 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations getting into the final, but certainly not the way you really want to get there. It was really hard to watch what was going on on the court.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, it was really hard to watch for me whenever I saw her collapse on the court. You know, tennis is great, but the health is more important. You know, to see her struggling out there, I just wanted to make sure she was okay. I got the word that she's okay now and just getting cooled down, so that's great to hear. I'm in the finals, which is obviously great. It's been five years for me since my last one here, so I'm extremely happy to be back there.

Q. Did you see Peng when you went into the locker room?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No, I haven't seen her.

Q. Did you know what the rule was regarding medical timeouts, point penalties? What was going through your mind?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I didn't know the rules. If it's just cramping then you can't have a medical, but whenever it's heat illness, then you're allowed to get treatment for it. Honestly, I was just trying to focus on myself. I knew that it looked really bad out there, so I thought maybe she was still going to be okay to play afterwards. And, you know, obviously when she was -- when she came back and still played she made a winner down the line on my return, I was like, Maybe she's going to be fine to play. But when she collapsed on the court that second time, I was like, Okay, this doesn't look very good. I wanted to go over and make sure that she was okay. I know that she's had heart surgery when she was 13, so that's definitely something that, you know, I think she was worried about, as well.

Q. You were facing a break point for about 10 minutes, which seems to be a long time to face a break point. Did that go through your mind at all?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: You know, I was just trying to focus on myself. I was thinking that she was going to come out there and be ready to play, so I was doing a lot of serves. I was just training my serve down the T, because that was the one that I wanted to do on the first point. That worked out. Then the rest of the serves didn't really work because then I made a double fault. So what was the point in training the serve when you're going to make a double fault, anyway? At the end of the day it was really tough with the wind. The wind was really behind, so sometimes I knew the toss was a little bit too much in front. Then it was hard to get it down.

Q. Was there a part of you that's thinking, Okay, they are going to call this now; she's been gone 10 minutes?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: As I said before, the health is more important. I just was hoping that she was going to be okay.

Q. What did you say to her when you walked over there? Did you say anything?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Um, I just said, Get some ice and cool her down. I think I just said, you know, I hope you'll feel better soon.

Q. What was your physical condition going into this match? How did you feel during it?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It was hot out there. Definitely felt it. We had some grueling rallies, especially at the end of that first set. We had some really long points. I was starting to feel the sun, but I felt fine. I felt okay. I just kept having the ice towel on every changeover and tried to cool down that minute and a half we had in between the changeovers.

Q. What was hardest for you as you saw what was going on with your opponent?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, first of all, you want her to be okay. Then you also are thinking, you know, she might still be able to compete, so you have to kind of find, you know, try and think about yourself as well and just say, Okay, she might just go out there and start to hit winners. So you have to be ready for everything.

Q. You mentioned in the interview on court that you had been in bed for a couple of days. What's been the problem?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I have been in bed. A little bit of a cold the last few days. I'm feeling much better now and have another day off tomorrow, so I'll come out firing on Sunday.

Q. Do you feel 100%?

Q. There are more and more bathroom breaks, medical timeouts. You know, sometimes don't really get treatment but they decide to call it anyway. Are you content with these rules and the ambiguity that's built into some of them, or would you rather see some things change? If so, what?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I believe the best in people. I believe if you need a bathroom break you go to the bathroom. If you need treatment, you get treatment. I don't think any rules should be changed.

Q. Did you notice, late in the first set, that she was starting to get a little gassed there? Did you feel like you were stronger than her? Were you looking at her on the changeovers and saying, I feel good; she doesn't look so great?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No, but I think mentally it's hard. It's 30 degrees Celsius out there; heat rule is in. It's hot and humid. You lose the first set, and I think that's pretty devastating in your head. You have to play another two sets out there if you want to win. For me to get that first set under my belt was really great. I felt good, and I was like, Okay, this is my match to take now. I was down 2-Love in the third ^ [sic] but managed to battle my way back into it.

Q. The trainer brought you out some medicine at some point. What was that?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I just got an Advil.

Q. More for aches or because you weren't feeling well?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No, I was feeling fine. But as I said, I have been lying in bed for the last two days. I have been taking some Tylenol and Advil before the match and I forgot to restock.

Q. Assuming it's Serena in the final, how would you describe the opportunity and the challenge?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: She looks like she's firing out there at the moment. You know, she's obviously a great player. She's won so many Grand Slams. She's a good friend of mine. We were saying when the tournament started, we're like, Yes, we're in separate sides of the drawing, so hopefully we can meet in the finals. It would be great if that were to happen. I don't want to jinx her now, but she's obviously a tough opponent. When she's on fire, she's hard to beat. But I have had two tough matches against her the last few weeks. I was really close. Hopefully for me that would be third time's the charm.

Q. What is Serena like as a gal pal? And secondly, you had that really tough cramping incident in Doha. Just talk about cramping. Is that as excruciating a pain as you can get on court? What goes through your mind? Just talk about that if you would.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I had crampings in Doha few years back. Basically my whole body started cramping, and it looked like I had been shot and I had to like roll over. I fell down on the ground. I still managed to win the match somehow. I don't know how. But I didn't know -- I was on the floor and I was trying to get up. I was told that I'm not allowed to get help to get up. I'm like, every time I move a muscle I'm going to cramp. How am I going to stand up? I managed. It's painful, but, you know, I managed to pull through it. I got cooled down afterwards and was okay the next day. I just got some rest. And Serena is a fun girl. She's so nice to hang out with. Always makes me laugh and makes everyone around her laugh. Definitely a very inspiring person to be around.

Q. Actually I noticed there was nearly a tie between you and Peng Shuai on the first set; so how did you feel? What's your observation of her performance at that time?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: There's never ties in tennis, so you have to finish it off with a tiebreaker. I started off strongly and I had the wind behind me. I knew that I had to take advantage of that. I was up 5-1 whenever we switched sides, and that was great for me. To win that first set definitely was a big bonus.

Q. In Miami a few years ago you defeated Serena; you were serving really well. Now you play her very closely. You must be very confident that, you know, maybe this final might be...
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I always believe in myself when I go out to play. I definitely believe that no matter who stands on the other side of the net I can win the match. The last two times I played Serena we played really two tough three-set matches. You know, it's going to be the US Open finals. It's going to be a tough one. It's going to be exciting. Either way it's been a great tournament for me, and I hope that I can get one more win under my belt.

Q. How is your perspective on it different now than it was ^ four years ago? With all the ups and downs in your career, returning to form now, maybe you relish the opportunity a bit more?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I have definitely learned a lot in those years. I have had more matches under my belt. I have learned more about myself. But also going out to the finals back then against Kim I knew that it was going to be really tough. I didn't know what to expect, what to expect from my nerves. She had been out there before. So this time it's going to be different. I hope that I'll have more experience. I hope that I'll go out there and just go for it. I have nothing to lose. I have only things to win. It's one more match, and I'm going to take it as any other match. I know it's going to be difficult, but it's going to be so much fun to be out there.

Q. What would it mean to you to be US Open champion?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It would mean so much to me. I have been close before, but, you know, it's obviously a Grand Slam final. I would love to win it and have a Grand Slam under my belt. It would definitely have the media stop talking about my lack of a Grand Slam, so that would be nice. (Laughter.)

Q. Lighter question. That terribly out-of-tune group of guys sings Sweet Caroline; do you embrace that? What goes through your mind?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I do, yeah. It's fun. It's nice. It's great.

Q. Lighten you up?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It does. It's nice to have a big support group out there. I have heard the Sweet Caroline song quite a few times, and especially here. So it's just a bit of fun.

Q. How much do you feel New York, New Yorkers, are embracing you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I love New York. I think the crowd really has taken me to them and I feel the support out there. I feel the love. It's amazing to be out there. I'm excited to have another match out there on Sunday.

Q. Like the whole friendship thing, is it overplayed? Does it have any impact on you? Being friends with someone you play make it difficult or make it easier?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I have quite of few friends on tour. For me, I'm pretty good at separating the things on the court and off the court. It's definitely going to be a huge match on Sunday. The friendship, while we are on court, is put aside. We are both competitors. She has to win obviously, but, you know, it will be put aside and we will just be out there and fighting for every point. After the match, one of us is going to congratulate the other and we're going to be friends again. It's fine.

Q. You have played friends at big events and small events. Do you find it's harder at a bigger event to play a friend?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No, not really. I just go out there and I just want to win.
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