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October 24, 2015

Lucie Safarova

Singapore, Singapore

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was it very difficult not knowing until 48 hours ago whether you would be playing singles? Or did the fact you would be here anyway for the doubles make it a little easier?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, I was anyway coming for the doubles, so it was just really exciting news when I land in Singapore to get the message that I got into singles, as well.
So I'm just really excited and enjoying to be here playing both and looking forward.

Q. Can you talk about the US Open, how you got sick, went to the hospital. Talk a little about that.
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Yeah, well, I got abdominal tear in New Haven finals against Petra, then I couldn't really play the US Open, so I went back home.
Unfortunately after few days, I got bacteria infection, which I had to be hospitalized for a week. It took me longer than I was expecting to recover. I was still hoping to play any of the Asian tournaments, but I wasn't recovering as fast. I had to pull out.
My first tournament back was Linz and last week Moscow. In Moscow I felt already pretty well physically. I'm feeling pretty strong right now and ready to play.

Q. You went to the hospital. Were you pretty surprised what was going to happen and whether you were going to be able to play the rest of the year?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, yeah, at that point I didn't really know what it was. It was at some point a little scary.
Then when they found the right treatment and I started to recover, I knew I will be able to make still some tournaments. I just didn't know how fast I could come back.

Q. You're playing here with Petra, the Fed Cup final last year against Angelique Kerber. What do you think about this group?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: A lefty group. I mean, of course, I would wish rather that Petra would be in the other group because we are two Czechs here. But it is what it is.
There is no easy match here. It's the top eight players. I'm just going to go out there and enjoying each of the match and fight for the best.

Q. With all due respect, you've been around for a long time. You've always been a good player but not a great player. What made you a great player this year?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I feel like a great player (laughter).
No, I've been improving through last couple years already. I've been climbing the rankings. It hasn't been as fast as some other players jump there. But the more I really enjoy it, I'm thankful for it.
Yeah, I mean, now I have been sick, but most of last couple years I've been pretty healthy, working on my game. I'm also more older, so I'm maturing more, enjoying the tennis a lot, look at it a bit different.
I think it's just everything together.

Q. When you say you look at it differently, can you explain that?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I think when you're coming as a young player, you're just having all those dreams. But then it's, like, a little bit stressful, as well. It's hard, but you have those visions to make it. But there are so many good players, you get nervous and everything.
I think just right now I really enjoy tennis and I'm in a good place, so that's why I have a little different view of it.

Q. I notice that you posted a picture of yourself with the background of Singapore. The picture is obscured by a lot of haze. Is that something you're concerned about?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: It's my first time in Singapore. Actually the first night we arrived, it wasn't as bad. Well, I don't think it's as bad as in like Beijing or those cities. But obviously it would be better if it would be sunny and clear.

Q. You said before you're enjoying your tennis more now than you ever have. How have you been able to stay motivated and excited about playing tennis at this stage of your career when some other people might start to lose their motivation?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, I always, like, had the dream to be there in the top 10, let's say. I always believed in myself. It was just first in my early stage of the career, I was injured a lot. That set me back a little bit. Then, like, I struggled with different things.
But I always kind of believed that I can be there. I think that's what kept me really motivated. I think if a person has the goals, it's just going towards them, sooner or later they might become true.

Q. You were rounding into form nicely on the hard courts when you made the final in New Haven, then the abdominal injury. In the two matches you've played, how close do you think you are to that level? Do you feel like you're capable of playing your best tennis here this week?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I think I'm getting, yeah, there. In Linz I was struggling still a little bit physically. In Moscow, I think the match with Anastasia was really good level. Each of the practices and matches I played is feeling better and improving.
I mean, I had a good hit here yesterday. I have practice today, as well. So I feel ready. I feel good.

Q. You seem to be surrounded by a lot of fun people at the moment. You have a lot of fun with Bethanie, your coach is always making funny videos. Can you talk about how they've contributed to your success this year in terms of having a positive environment around you?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Yeah, we're a really good group. I really enjoy to having them around. I'm thankful for that. It gives me a lot of energy. It helps a lot. I mean, we just with Bethanie winning the Australian Open, having so much fun, we just started the year really well. I think it's a part of my success, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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