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October 19, 2014

Caroline Wozniacki


ANDREW KRASNY:  Ladies and gentlemen, Caroline Wozniacki.
Questions for Caroline.

Q.  Can you explain how you went from being just very good to being great again?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  I don't know.  I just think it always goes up and down in sports and tennis.
You know, the first half of the year, as I'm saying, when you go on vacation the first half of the year, the second half of the year you need to step it up to be here.
So I just focused really hard on what I was supposed to do out there.  I was practicing really hard and I didn't have any injuries, so I could really go for it.
The results came.  And, you know, it's always a pleasure to be out there when you're playing well and doing well.  It makes it so much more fun.

Q.  You said that everybody, every athlete goes through ups and downs.  For so much of your career it was just up and getting to No. 1 and playing so well and so consistently.  When you kind of hit the rough patch over the last year, end of the year, what was that like for you mentally?  I've heard players say, I need to learn how to lose.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  I don't think I ever want to learn how to lose, and I don't think I ever will because I love winning too much to ever want to be in the other position.
I think getting to where we all are today, I think you always have to go through ups and downs.  Even in the juniors and even when you just play for a trophy and there is no money involved.  Sometimes even that brings you down even further whenever you don't do the result that you want.
I just always believe in myself.  I always keep working hard, because I know that even though sometimes I hit a rough patch, it's going to change and your luck is going to go the other way and all of a sudden you're going to feel out there on court like you can't lose.
You just have to cherish the moments when you play well.  When you don't, you just have to keep grinding out there, as they say.  A lot of people give up when it gets tough.  That's when you have to go that one step further.  That's where all the good things happen.

Q.  As you were sort of slipping down and then making your way back up, did it feel like it was a long way to go, or did it feel like you were pretty close to where you had been?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  No, didn't feel like a long way to go.  I never really looked at the rankings, but I definitely totally stopped when I went down to 18.  I'm like, This is depressing.  I don't want to be down here.
At the end of day, I just told myself, Doesn't matter if you're No. 1 or No. 18.  At the end of the day, you have to compete with the same players.  A lot of girls play so well now so it's never easy.  I just thought if I play well, the ranking will come back up soon.
I started playing well, I started finding my form, and then the ranking just came up really quickly.

Q.  This is not your first time in Singapore.

Q.  How are you finding Singapore?  You try local food?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  No, I haven't tried the local food yet.  I think Singapore is a really great place, and the hotel we're staying at is beautiful.  The courts are really nice.
It's my second time here, and I'm really happy we're playing indoors.  It's so hot outside.  I think all of us would be struggling playing outdoors.
We've been taken care of so well here so far.  I'm really happy to be here.

Q.  How has your approach been different from the Grand Slam to WTA final event such as this?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  I think my approach to any tournament is the same:  I want to go out there and do my best and work as hard as I can to play my best at the tournament.
In a Grand Slam, you can win a Grand Slam or get to the finals without playing a top‑10 player.  Here there is no easy starts.  You have to play the best players in the world from the start.
That definitely makes it difficult.  It also makes to a great challenge.  So I'm excited for it.  I'm looking forward to get to play here.

Q.  I could be wrong, but you sound a bit hoarse.  Are you feeling okay?  Just too many selfies last night and too many laughs?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  No, I'm feeling fine.  My voice has just bailed on me.  I hope it's going to come back.

Q.  In terms of your game at this sort of state of your career, how has that sort of evolved in the last few months as your improvements come about?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  I think you always to have improve because everyone else is improving.  If you keep playing the same you're going to do worse results.  I think my game is in great shape.  I feel in great shape physically.  I have fun playing out there on court.
I think all of that together kind of brings out best of me when I'm out there competing.

Q.  Obligatory marathon question:  Less than a month away.  Does it feel like, Oh, crap, what have I got myself into, or are you still feeling confident and relaxed about it?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  It's two weeks away.

Q.  Yeah.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  And I certainly did not feel comfortable about it when I was in Asia, but now I'm getting there.  I feel like I've been working really hard and I feel in great shape.  I feel like my body has been reacting really well to all the gym and fitness and running that I've been doing.
I'm really, really excited to do the run.  I think it's going to be an unbelievable experience.  You know, I have so much to look forward to:  Playing here, and then the marathon is going to be a great challenge.  I'm looking forward to see how it's going to go.
We're going to get a chip on us, I think, so there is no way that I'm not going to finish.  That would be embarrassing.

Q.  What's the longest distance you've done so far?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  I've done half.  You're supposed to do about 30K or a little bit more.  I just said, You know what?  I don't care.  I'm going to get through this no matter what.  So there is really no point in killing myself before I actually have to run the marathon.  I have Singapore that I want to do well in.

Q.  You have this friendship with Serena.  Just wondering, is it new?  I mean, not your friendship with Serena, but this thing about friendship on the tour, you and Serena and Petra?  That has always been there and we didn't know about it, or is it something new?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  It's always been there.  I think we're very friendly on tour.  There are so many great girls on tour.  We travel to the same tournaments every week and we see each other every week.
Obviously we compete against each other on the court, but off the court we just have a laugh and enjoy each other's company.

Q.  What was your sense during the last few years from when you were No. 1 until now?  Was it that when you got to No. 1 that you weren't able to kind of play that level, or was it that the competition got tougher?  What was your view of the competitive landscape over the last few years?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  I think when you look at who has finished No. 1 a couple times in a row, you see there are very few people that have managed to do that.
I think the reason for that is that it's tough, because when you're No. 1, at the top of the list, there is so much attention on you, so many other things you have to do for tournaments, for sponsors, all the time.
At the same time, it's a great place to be, but you also get less time to practice.  There are so many other things that are just mandatory.  Sometimes it just takes a toll on you, even though you love to do it.
I think it's natural that you just can't maintain the same level for so long.  I managed to do it for two years and that was great.  I feel like I'm on my way back and I'm playing well.  Again, it's an individual sport.  Injuries come into effect as well, and then you need to build yourself back up.
When you're No. 1 you're a target.  You have a target on your back.  Everyone sees all your matches and knows exactly how to play you.  You just need to keep getting better, because obviously everyone is talking about how to beat you.

Q.  Will you stay with your dad forever as the coach?  Will things change next year?  Talk a little bit about that.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI:  I think it's going to be the same.  I feel like I've tried enough and I'm tired of trying different things.
So I'm happy where I am.  My dad is a great coach and it's been working really well.  It's nice for me to have my family with me.  I think that that's the most important thing.  I realized that when my family doesn't travel with me to tournaments I feel kind of lonely and I don't enjoy the game as much.
At the same time, I'm not going to play forever, so hopefully he can ‑‑ he still wants to stick around with me for a few more years.

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