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August 17, 2016

Carlota Ciganda

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Q. How does it feel to be an Olympian finally?
CARLOTA CIGANDA: Yeah, really nice. Very happy to be here, to represent my country. I mean, I love playing for Spain. It's just a special feeling. So I'm very happy with my round and can't wait to start tomorrow.

Q. You have the lead there on your own for awhile, what was going through your mind, playing so well?
CARLOTA CIGANDA: I was just trying to play the strategy that I had. I had one bad hole but overall it's been a great day. I just want to take all the positives and have some rest for tomorrow and keep playing.

Q. You were quite bold on the last. I think you hit a driver off the fairway, right?

Q. So you were playing aggressively?
CARLOTA CIGANDA: Yeah, I practiced that shot and I feel comfortable. So when the wind is hurting, I don't mind hitting the driver. The 3‑wood I knew I couldn't get there, so I just wanted to make up for it, and I just hit the driver and it was a little short. I feel comfortable. I know it's a little bit crazy, but I just like to play aggressive.

Q. What is it about when you play for Spain?
CARLOTA CIGANDA: I feel I play for so many people. You play for the whole country. You're representing Spain. It's not only me. I don't know, there is a special motivation. I don't know how to explain it. It's just when I play for a team, I just love it.

Q. How much did seeing Rafa play, how much did you gain some inspiration from watching?
CARLOTA CIGANDA: Watching Rafa is the best. He's my hero. When you watch that guy playing tennis the way he runs, the way he fights, it's just another planet. You can see he's not playing great, but he still wins. And when he's under pressure, he plays even better. I had breakfast with him, and without competing 2 1/2 months, he won the Gold Medal and finished fourth.

Q. When did you have breakfast?
CARLOTA CIGANDA: On Friday when he won the Gold Medal.
We've played twice. He loves golf. We played a Pro‑Am the last two years in November at the end of the year. There is a Pro‑Am with Olazábal and Rafa. So they invited me, and I was happy to go and to learn from them. He loves golf. He's really good, like 3 or 5 handicap. It's just fun to be around and listen to what he says. I think he's one of the best athletes in the world in Spanish history.

Q. Do you ever try and play tennis with him?
CARLOTA CIGANDA: No, I don't think I want (laughs).

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