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September 3, 2014

Ekaterina Makarova


E. MAKAROVA/V. Azarenka
6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Have you started to understand and feel what it means to be in a Grand Slam semifinal or has it not even hit you yet?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, it's not hit me yet, I think. I am feeling the same like the matches before. Of course I'm happy that I'm came through, finally through the quarters and I'm in semis now. Today was a great, tough match. We played so many times with Vika; she beat me and I beat her. So today was a tough one, and I'm really happy that I came through.

Q. You played her a number of times before. She confirmed in her press conference that she had suffered food poisoning. She was very, very, very pointed in saying that she's making no excuses and that you just played better tennis today. Did you get the sense that maybe there was something off, having had experience playing her, that there was maybe something off in her playing today?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: No, I didn't see that. I think she played the same, so aggressive. At the beginning was really tough to change the game to my way, you know, because she was really aggressive and let me move a lot. So then she did a break, and I just tried to stay with my game, to play point by point, to be solid and turn it around.

Q. The second game of the second set there, someone in your position just going perhaps for your first semifinal; she's a champion; she goes down Love-40, but she plays great points to come back; very long game; a chance of holding. A lot of people say maybe this is going to change here. What was your feeling? Were you nervous at that point you were losing it, or how did you manage to continue from there?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, yeah, I remember that game. I didn't got nervous because she played so good those all of points. Yeah, it was again I had one more break point. But still she played so aggressive and did couple of winners, so I didn't think that, you know, I missed some easy shots or something and you get nervous. I just stayed calmly in my game. You know, it was again tough game at 1-All. But still, yeah, she was with the wind so she was pushing me a lot.

Q. You have had a wonderful career. This is a little bit of an unusual question. Many good results, many years on the circuit in the WTA, but in our country we don't know that much about you. Could you talk a little bit about what your interests are and your background and who you are as a person?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, you know, it's tough to say something about yourself. (Smiling.) Um, well, I think I'm trying to stay in the shade, you know, a little bit, to be in my world. I'm not using that much like social networks. Yeah, I can say that I'm maybe closed a little bit. But I'm really enjoying to play on the big stage, the big courts with all this crowd. I'm feeling differently than in other places.

Q. On Twitter you are Kate.

Q. Kate. Why Kate? Kate is American.
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: That's why, I think. Easier for fans. Yeah, because I have Ekaterina and then in Russia it's Katya, so sometimes I don't like the pronunciation, you know, how the foreign people saying. That's why I'm Kate there. It's easier for fans.

Q. So, Kate, I have a question for you. (Laughter.) As was mentioned, this is your first Grand Slam semifinal, a breakthrough for you. You played well obviously in the Grand Slams this year and also on the hard courts coming into the tournament. Did you feel coming into this tournament that, you know, just confidence level was high, the game was there, and that this could be a chance for you to maybe get to a Grand Slam semifinal?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Yes, because I played quarter in Wimbledon and I really believed that at US Open I can do my best result. I felt that I'm ready. I'm feeling good my game, my mentally ahead, you know, and believe in myself. I was feeling that I can do more than quarter.

Q. If you play Serena Williams, what gives you the greatest confidence? What do you think the biggest challenge is?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: If I play against Serena?

Q. Yes. In the next round if you play Serena, what gives you the most confidence and what do you think the biggest challenge will be?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, she's a great and tough player, yeah? But once I beat her already, so I have a great memory. I have a great feeling of that match. She didn't win actually yet, so I think tonight will be interesting match. Pennetta also really, like ready for this match, for fight. I think so. So I will watch them definitely, you know, who gonna win. I just want to fight.

Q. What do you think was the key to your victory over Serena?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, definitely to stay aggressive. Because she's so aggressive, yes? And I need to be a little bit more aggressive than she is; let her move definitely.

Q. Another player who was in the shade a lot was Steffi Graf. You clearly resemble her. Do you get that often? And how do you feel about that?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, yeah, some people is saying that I look like a little bit Steffi. I didn't know that she was a little bit in the shade actually. (Smiling.) That's interesting for me.

Q. She was shy.
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I don't know. I think she's a great star.

Q. You never talked to her or met her?

Q. Which is the person who knows about yourself better: Your mother or your boyfriend or whatever?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I think my coach. (Smiling.) I spend more time with my coach than with my family.

Q. Can you tell us a secret about yourself? Because as my colleague said, we don't know many things about you.
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: You will know later. (Laughter.)

Q. Can you imagine all of a sudden lifting the tennis trophy here and winning this tournament?

Q. What would it mean to you to win the US Open?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, so much. To win the Grand Slam it's -- I don't know. It's always the dream, you know, from the kid when I was going to the school and then came back home and watching some matches. You are like watching and you want to be there, you know, some day. You don't believe that you can be here, and finally you're here and going so far.

Q. Who did you admire? Who did you idolize when you were a young girl?

Q. Did you like her flat shots or just the way she competed? What did you like?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Everything: how she was on the court, how she was playing, her reaction, everything. At Kremlin Cup I was going on all her matches and like cheering for her, you know. Yes, and now she's helping me, also. And I'm really happy that she finish the career and I started the career and that we are not really competing. She's still the idol for me.

Q. Would you like to become a mother, a commentator, and a coach like she has done later?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, definitely a mother I want to be like she is. She has three kids. It's a great thing. I don't know. I didn't think really, you know, what I will be to do, commentator or coaching. But she's a great person and player.

Q. For your first two or three Grand Slam quarterfinals you played, what was your mindset going in? How was it maybe different today?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Before maybe I didn't believe that much that I can came through. Today definitely was a different feeling, and I really believed to myself that I'm ready to go forward, you know, and to be in the semis.

Q. This year your overall Grand Slam results are your best; you've won another tournament. Is there something that happened this year or coming into the year that elevated your game?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I don't know. Maybe I grow up a little bit or maybe I ready for big wins, you know, just in my head.

Q. Left-handers can be a little bit crazy. Is there anything about you that's a little bit crazy? Is there anything you do that you think is unusual?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: No, I don't think so that I'm doing something unusual. Maybe someone different, you know, some other person can say that I'm doing some crazy things. I don't know. I'm just so happy that I'm lefty and the one in family lefty. Sometimes when you start to write, Wow, you are lefty, like something different.

Q. You'll be playing Kimiko Date-Krumm in the semifinals of women's doubles. What are your thoughts of her making the semifinals at this point?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, she's a tough player, definitely. I played first round of Wimbledon against her and I won 7-5 in the third. Doubles she's playing also really good. And with Strycova she's also playing dubs, so it will be a tough match definitely. They are ready to fight. We are also ready to fight with Elena, because we enjoying to play out there all the time. Another great match.

Q. Obviously coming off of two great competitors you have just beaten, and I'm sure you get confidence from that, and also, doubles is a different game than singles, victory over Venus and Serena, can you transfer some confidence from that into the singles game, or are they two separate games?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, that's two separate things for me. It's different feeling, different nervous in doubles, and you are together there with Elena. You can speak with someone say you are feeling that you get tired or nervous or she can help you in other ways. She also can speak with me. So we never put some pressure on each other. Yesterday was a great match. I think both team, we played really good. We played against them in Dubai this year. Well, they are greatest player also in the world. You know, it's happy for us. It's happy to beat them.

Q. I assume that you heard at the end of the match they played the music for the Makarena. Do you say Makarova or Makarova?

Q. When I'm shopping with my friends for coffee they always say, Oh, you must get shade grown. That's the only kind of coffee to buy. Is it better for a tennis player to be in the shade or out in the sunlight with all the razzmatazz, with all the focus on you? Which is better?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I think it's better for like what player like, you know. It's like personal thing. So I'm not doing it specially, you know. I'm just like I am. Someone likes more people, you know. Some would like to stay a little bit in your world. So it's just different person, different style. I don't know.

Q. Do you actually know how to do the Makarena?

Q. Can you show us?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Next time onstage.

Q. With the trophy?

Q. Did you hear them playing it? Were you kind of amused by that?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I heard that they were playing this song. Actually it start from Australian Open. So many fans, they called me like this. In Russia, we never actually -- no one is calling me like that from, you know, from the court. But it's a different thing. It's nice, I think.

Q. And in Russian it would be Sharapova, right? For Maria it would be Sharapova?

Q. Sharapova?
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