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July 28, 2016

Daria Kasatkina

Montreal, Quebec, Canada


7-5, 6-3

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We spoke with Roberta. She seemed to think that her being 33, you being 19, was a disadvantage for her. How did you see that ahead of the match?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, you know, it's nothing special to me because I play a lot of matches against opponents who is older than me. They have a lot of experience. But for me it's a pleasure to play against such a big players like Roberta or, for example, Venus Williams.

I'm just happy to be here and I'm enjoying every moment.

Q. You say your favorite surface is clay, but you've had good results indoors and on hard courts. Are you feeling more comfortable on hard courts?
DARIA KASATKINA: Looks like I have to change my mind (laughter).

No, last year I used to play seven months on clay, and it was really good result. But after I start to play more on hard courts. It's much less tournaments on clay. So I'm more adapt to hard courts.

But still I like to play on clay because I like the game. It's little bit slower and you can play more tactic, you can play with your opponent. Still I love clay.

Q. It looks like your game with the spin and kick serve is perfect for clay.
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, but anyway, for example, Indian Wells and here is surface where ball is bouncing a lot. I can play spin that will be very bad for my opponent. I like this kind of surface.

Q. You won a big match against Stosur just before. How much did that help you for today?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, sure, it give me a lot of confidence because Sam is very difficult player. Is very difficult to play against her because she has very good serve and very good forehand with slice. I had to play my best tennis to beat her, especially in two sets.

Q. I was told earlier today that your idol is apparently Rafael Nadal.

Q. Why is he your idol? What do you like so much about him and his game?
DARIA KASATKINA: Since I was eight years old, I start to watch Rafa's game from Roland Garros 2005 when he won his first Grand Slam, Roland Garros. I just fell in love with his game, with his character, everything. Since the tournament, I start to love him as a player.

I love everything: how he play, how he behave. So for me he's the perfect example how I have to be as a sportsman.

Q. A lot of young players are taught to play flat, hard, aggressive. How have you managed to keep playing the way you've played from when you were younger until now?
DARIA KASATKINA: I don't know. Actually, I don't remember. But I think still it's coming from Nadal. When I watch him, he play with a lot of spin. I was trying to play the same, so...

I think it's mostly from there.

Q. How were you introduced to tennis? At what age did you start to play? Were your parents tennis players?
DARIA KASATKINA: You know, my brother, he used to play, but just for fun. He was amateur. I was small. I was six years old. He come to my parents and he said, If you want to put Dasha in some sport, you have to put her in tennis because there is everything. You move with the legs. You using all your body. It's very good for the kid.

So from this moment I start to play tennis.

Q. You're from Togliatty.

Q. There's a famous hockey player from there that was popular here, Alex Kovalev.
DARIA KASATKINA: You know, I don't know actually good hockey players. I support our team, but I don't know exactly the players. Little bit shame, but that's it.

Q. Could you tell us what you've heard from your fellow nationals about what's been going on with Russia and the Olympic Committee. What is the feedback you've received from the Federation or your colleagues in Russia?
DARIA KASATKINA: You know, I almost don't read any newspaper or something about that. I just know the tennis team go to Olympics, so we are good and that's it. I don't want to put pressure on me because we have a lot of problems with doping or something. I'm just focus on tennis. So it's good we go.

Yeah, it's a shame that other athletes, for example, don't have this opportunity. But I'm trying to be focused on myself and on the tennis, so...

Q. How do you feel about going to the Olympics? Was the Olympics part of what you wanted to achieve as a player?
DARIA KASATKINA: Sure. When I was young, I was watching, for example, Beijing, even London 2012. I was dreaming to go there and to represent my country, everything.

I am happy that we going and I have this opportunity to play for my country.

Q. You've been going through the ranks quickly. You were 33 at the start of the week. What are your goals as far as moving up the ranks? Do you want to go as fast as possible or you're aware it might take some time?
DARIA KASATKINA: No, for sure I don't have ranking goals. Usually when I have some goals, like, I have to be ranking like this, I'm always dropping. It was like this in juniors, when I was small.

I'm just improving my game. I don't focus on ranking. If I will play good, ranking will come, for sure. It is what it is.

Q. What did you learn from the match against Venus at Wimbledon? What was the big takeaway for you?
DARIA KASATKINA: Why you remind me of this match (smiling)?

You know, everything was in this match, especially when they stop us at match point. So many things in my head when it was pause.

I'm happy that after this stop I come on court and I was not, like, lost. I just go and play my very good game. I didn't give her chance to come back.

At the end I lose. But I learn a lot from this match. Big shame was that I lost two Grand Slam in a row in the third round 10-8 in the third set. But it's very good experience for me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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