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August 30, 2014

Aleksandra Krunic


A. KRUNIC/P. Kvitova
6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tell me about what you were focusing on between the points as the match developed.
ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Well, I tried not to think about the score, and I kept telling myself that, you know, leave it on her because everything is up to her still and she's in charge. I tried to put the pressure off my shoulders, you know, because usually last couple of years I'm the one who is putting the pressure on myself, you know. So I tried not to do it today. And also on the changeover, on the 6-5 in the second, I just told to myself, It's still on her. You still have nothing to lose, even if you'd be 6-5, 5-Love up. Play as every other game you have played. Surprisingly I managed to do it pretty well with the two big serves. You know, I didn't expect myself to be so calm, but I really focused my 100% not to think about anything that is happening, about the court, about so many people, about Petra. Just, you know, the technique of my serve. I was tell myself, Okay, just keep the left arm, you know, high. Just simple stuff.

Q. Was it good for you to have the experience on Armstrong against Keys the other day so you kind of knew what to expect on such a big court?
ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Well, for sure it made it easier today. Today there were more people than against Madison. But, you know, comparing to last year, I think I would be much tighter and much more, you know, all over the place with my mind. But somehow also with Madison I didn't feel so much pressure. Maybe because, you know, I'm an outsider, I'm from the qualifyings, and, you know, I don't have a pressure from the beginning since I step on the court. When I don't put the extra pressure on myself it's just much easier for me, you know, not to think about the crowd and anyone. Because I was trying to take the positive things from the crowd. I didn't expect that so many people would cheer for me. Even though I know that the crowd usually cheers for the outsider, you know, I appreciate it a lot. I was really surprised with it.

Q. You had three really good wins in qualifying. I was wondering how much confidence that gives you coming into the main draw.
ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Yeah, it gives you a lot of confidence. You're playing against the girls that you're competing against in the other tournaments in the quallies. These girls are top 100 and lower, and that's the main draw of, let's, say 125k, and, you know, it's not just the qualifying tournament. It's like one whole tournament for me. You know, when I pass the quallies, I felt like, Okay, it's a new tournament for me. Now I'm in the second week of a Grand Slam. I don't know. I still cannot believe I won against Madison, and now I won against Petra. It's like so many things happening in my mind that I'm trying to -- I cannot say I'm trying to stay on the ground, because I don't think it's ever going to happen to me that I'm going to change or whatever. But I'm trying to believe it, but then like, Okay, when I believe it I'm afraid that I'm going to have so much emotions. So I'm trying to keep it all together. My coach is already, you know, screaming and jumping, and I'm trying to stay away from him so I don't listen.

Q. You didn't expect to beat Petra. Did you really not expect to win this match?
ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: No, honestly. Also, against Madison. I mean, you know, when you are playing the smaller tournaments all the time, I honestly didn't know what to expect from myself at all. You know, I don't know my limits. Today I think I pushed myself to my total limits. Even I know that it was not Petra's best day and she missed a lot. I don't know if I made her miss with my game or not. But still, you know, if she would have played her best tennis I don't think the outcome would be the same, as I said. But I tried to keep the tactics that I have been given. Yeah, that was my only chance. Honestly, no, I didn't expect it at all, for sure.

Q. Two questions: You said you were watching the Wimbledon final. Were you rooting for Petra or Bouchard?
ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Petra. I like Petra a lot as a person. She's very down-to-earth and I respect her a lot. I like when I can say hi and talk to the players that are much higher ranked than me and I don't feel such a difference in our levels. Because still we're all human beings, you know, and that someone is doing a better job in tennis than me doesn't mean we're not on the same level as people, you know, as personal.

Q. You come from this incredible tennis nation. Has Novak spoken to you at some point in your career, or Ana or Jelena? And what Serbian player inspired you earlier in your career?
ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Well, I'm pretty close with JJ, Jelena, because we have shared a lot of good moments in the Fed Cup doubles. Yeah, you know, actually I kicked out Djoko from the quiet room in the gym before my match with Madison, and today before my match I also saw him in the gym. So, you know, we were kind of joking after the match. He said, Keep kicking me out if you're playing good, you know, (smiling). Yeah, they're really supporting. I didn't have many chances to see Ana, but I'm close with Jovanovski. They are being very supportive and helping me. Also JJ with the tactics. I appreciate it a lot.

Q. Was there a particular point in the match where you actually allowed yourself then to believe that you were going to win? At what point did you say, Okay, this is something I can do now?
ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: It's funny, but at 6-5 in the second when I made the dropshot for 40-Love, that's the point that I was like, Oh, my God, I have triple match point. Maybe I can really win it. I didn't allow myself to -- not to believe. I believed. Obviously throughout the whole match I believed more and more, otherwise I wouldn't win. But I tried to keep myself so focused on the next point that I didn't even think about the score, nothing.

Q. Many years ago Ana Ivanovic and Jankovic said that they had to practice on a swimming pool in Serbia before there were tennis courts indoor. Then Djokovic who was thinking to play for Great Britain or Italy because the federation couldn't help. I'd like to know if something has changed because of them, if you have been helped somehow by the Serbian Federation, and if there is more money for the young Serbians coming up and so on.
ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Well, all I can say about the conditions of practicing, I'm getting courts for free in Serbian, in Belgrade, wherever I want. But the rest, no, I cannot say that something changed, honestly. But, you know, the best is not to expect, you know, so you don't get disappointed. I didn't get any money from the Federation itself. We're getting money for playing the Fed Cup from the ITF, what we get from the prize money as we were in the finals. And also from ministry of sport of Serbia. But I'm getting that money through the tickets, the plane tickets. You know, they like put it on the bill. I use it through the Aero Club Travel Agency. So, yeah, that's the way. But it's not the money that the federation gives us.

Q. Your parents are wealthy enough? They have money to support you, or it was a struggle for you to be able to do your career?
ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: No, it was never a struggle for me. I have a sponsor. It's my father's childhood friend, Sinisa Bogicevic. He's helping me since I'm 14, I think. I'm for him like a second daughter, second kid. So, no, I never had this kind of a struggle. I had everything, you know, on the plate for me. I think that's the main reason maybe I struggled throughout couple of years. You know, when you have everything, yeah, it's a big plus, but it can be also a big minus. When you have everything you don't know actually what you actually need. I was not used to fight for some things myself, because it was like, Yeah, here is Aleks, whatever it is, take it. Now go and play. That was pretty tough subject for me, but I think I managed to, you know, get it all together and not think about these things and just listen to myself more and not to others. That's what I was doing here.

Q. In the first set it was a little more traditional; you're hitting through the court; you're trying to move her around. Middle of the second set, points slowed up a bit; mixing up the pace. You described yourself as being very focused. Was that something you actively did to try and change something?
ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Well, I think also Petra slowed down her game. That seemed to me like her shots were not that heavy for me as in the first set. So I thought at some point that actually I made her play my game in a way. I felt more comfortable with the baseline game in the end of second set, even in the middle of the second set, because I could get easier to her shots. Of course, sometimes when I played too short, yeah, she smacked it and I couldn't do anything. But I felt more in charge in a way that I'm making her play my pace, not her pace, you know. So I think that's the reason why the points were longer.
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