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January 22, 2015

Coco Vandeweghe


6-4, 6-4
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you get nervous at all? Didn't appear to be.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Last game I missed probably the easiest volley I had in the match. Yeah, I was a little bit nervous. But, you know, we were talking about the first match I played against Schiavone, I was super nervous the whole match. My coach was talking about, We don't train for you to be nervous out on the court and to potentially lose a match because of nerves. So play like you can make every shot and play like you own this court out here. That's what I was thinking when I was playing out there. I enjoyed my time. So I had a lot of fun.

Q. What is it like being out on that sort of stage in a Grand Slam?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: It's pretty cool. I've played on Arthur Ashe twice. That stadium is humongous. I played against Jankovic on there and Serena Williams. But on here, different result, I won, so of course I enjoyed my time. It was fun to play against an Australian in Australia, just to have fans really engaged in a match. It was more of sort of an environment that I enjoy. Even though they were against me more so than with me, just the noise factor and the engagement, highs and lows with the fans, everything like that, that's fun to play in.

Q. You've enjoyed WTT for that reason?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I enjoy World TeamTennis. I didn't start playing till I was 11. I still played basketball along with tennis until I was 15. So tennis was the last sport I played. I didn't really enjoy it so much as opposed to basketball, which I grew up loving. Kind of basketball runs in my family a little bit. In an arena in sports, I was always kind of around my older brother, who played volleyball and basketball, ended up playing volleyball for his university. That's the kind of environment I grew up in. It's more weird for me to hear the quietness of a court than it is for me to hear the noise.

Q. What did you make of the Australian fans in general? They've received a fair amount of criticism this week for yelling after points from overseas players.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: It didn't happen during my match. If it did, I didn't notice it. It's their right to cheer. It's their right to not cheer. I can't complain either way. Just have to play through it.

Q. Madison Brengle next. What do you make of how that draw shaped up for you?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, I mean, I don't look at draws too much. I just look at the opponent ahead of me. I heard that I could potentially play either Irina or Madison. I'm good friends with Irina. I was looking forward more to playing Stosur. Just out of the last half hour or so that I've been off the court to think about it. Madison has been on the challenger circuit for a while. It's a very new experience for her to be in a third round or just in a Grand Slam, period, as opposed to I've played a couple Grand Slams. It's also a new experience for me to be in a third round. You just go out there, try to play the best you can, enjoy your time out there, see what happens.

Q. Does the all-Americanness of that make it any different for you?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I don't really care. It's cool that all Americans are there in the third round, because it means at least one American is going into the fourth round. If she's American, Czech, whatever, it doesn't matter, I have to go out there and compete and win the match because that's what I go out there to do.

Q. You were talking a little basketball. In the past you've mentioned learning from Phil Jackson. Talk about what you learned from that.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Well, currently Phil Jackson is coaching my favorite basketball team, the Knicks, not coaching, but somewhat coaching. They're stinking it up real bad. Other than that, I mean, I like to read definitely mental books. I'm an avid reader. I read silly, dumb books. Right now I'm finishing up "Maze Runner." Other than that, a friend gave me the hardest book I've ever read. I forget even the title. I've read the first page 10 times and I still have no idea what the heck is going on. I enjoy reading other people's thoughts, especially great coaches like Phil Jackson who has not only been called the Zen master but also has shown that he can produce time and time again with different groups of players, different mindsets from each of them. Basketball is not a singular sport. There's how many people on a roster, 15 or so on a roster, 12. Whatever. That's 12 people you have to manage. To be able to do that for multiple seasons, to claim a championship out of that, that's something that is hard to replicate.

Q. Watched you play Serena at the US Open.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I got spanked, yeah.

Q. That spanking to tonight, different continent, but different sort of setting. What's changed in your game?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I think it's more the confidence in myself and in the game. That was like three years, four years ago. Totally different person out there. It's hard to compare. That person that played Serena back then just made the first final of her career at Stanford, and it was kind of like a fluke. I lost to Serena in the final of Stanford. So, you know, as opposed to this past year where I have a new coach, it's a different mindset, different work that I've been putting in. So of course the matches have come with that, the match wins, the tournament win I had last year. So, of course, I'm going to have more confidence playing today as opposed to when I played Serena or even Jankovic at 16. I just turned 23. Hopefully maturity has come along with me at 23, but not too much.

Q. Stosur is well-known for her serve and forehand. Tonight you beat her with serve and forehand. Does that make you feel proud?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, I mean, our games are quite similar. We like to dominate with the serve. For whatever reason today I just had somewhat of a beat on her serve. I was making her play a lot of balls. I may not have been close in every game, but I was making her keep hitting balls that I was giving her off the returns. I know as a big server I like to have the free points right away instead of having that ball coming back, even if it's short, easy, doesn't matter. It's the repetitiveness of someone getting your serve back. That's what I was focusing on doing. Keep making her play. I have utmost confidence in my forehand, that I could out-rally Stosur today. But even tomorrow or whatever, I have to have confidence in my forehand that I'm going to out-rally someone, even if it's their strength. Even with the backhand. I can't change my game because someone has a serve and a forehand. I have to know I can do that better than they can.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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