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February 21, 2016

Lucie Safarova

Doha, Qatar

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lucie Safarova.

Q. First of all, welcome to Doha. You're defending champion here. There's so many good players in this edition. Do you think that you will go as far in this competition as last year?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, Doha tournament has always one of the strongest draw of the year. So I think I've played quite a few times here and it's been always every match is tough match.

I have been out for a long time with a sickness. It's been a while since I've been on court. For me, the most important is to have a good start, a good match, and we will see where I can go. We will take it step by step.

Q. Can you tell us a bit more about your health. You were ill for quite a long time, weren't you?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Yeah, it's been -- basically it started at the US Open. Since then I've been struggling three months with a bacterial infection. I came back, played a couple tournaments and the Masters.

Since then, I've been off again with reactive arthritis for another like almost three months. It's been a long time struggling.

I've been improving a lot lately. I've been here for two weeks training. I feel good. I feel back to where I was and I'm excited and I can start here in Doha again.

Q. How did they treat it, with antibiotic?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: It was all kinds of pills I had to undertake. Yeah, the treatment is long.

Q. Nothing about here, but if you were able to go back and play one match again in your life, which would it be? Might it be the French Open final?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: That's one that I thought of. That was probably one of the best experience I've had. And, yeah, I had a 2-0 lead there in the third set, so if I could take that back, I would maybe try to risk more and go even more to Serena.

But she's played amazing in the end, so it was a tough.

Q. Do you think you played a little too cautious in the match?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Not really, but maybe at some point I could try to go for more and that's when she took over and she stepped up.

I don't think I did anything wrong there, but there's always some parts where you could step it up.

Q. Are the Olympics one of your main objective this year?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, yeah, I mean I've played two Olympics already. It would be my third one. If I qualify, I would like to go. There are a lot of Czech girls fighting for the spot because we are a very strong tennis country, so we'll see who will qualify.

But I would definitely like to attend.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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