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September 4, 2016

Anastasija Sevastova

New York, NY, USA


6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. For someone who was retired not too long ago, what are your feelings right now, reaching the quarters?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Again, this question. I got it like one minute ago.

What do you expect? I mean, I still cannot believe it. Mentally I'm spent. Totally spent. But it's amazing, yeah.

Q. First-round match you said you consider yourself to be a C or D list celebrity in Riga. Do you think you're now at least up to B?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I don't think so. I don't know if we have A list celebrities. We have a basketball player. He's playing in New York Knicks. He's an A list celebrity, but I don't feel like it.

Q. Obviously it's your best run at a major. You're already getting close to your best ranking. Do you feel this is the best you've played in your career? How does it feel from before the retirement?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I think I'm playing better in my second career right now. I'm handling pressure sometimes better than before. Playing now these match points it's tough. It's always tough to finish the match, but I think I'm handling it better now.

And, yeah, I think this was a quality match today. 30 winners, 26 unforced errors. I mean, it's a good quality, I think. We played okay.

Q. Closing out this match and what happened, what you learned from closing out the Muguruza match, did that help you today?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I think so. I was close in her service game at 5-4 from Love-40, so I had chance there.

And at 6-5 I just said to myself, You're in the breaker, so just try your best. Maybe you will get the chance. Maybe not. But can you do it.

I was so close, so I thought, I will close it out at some point. Uh-huh.

Q. You're somewhat new to US Open fans. They're getting to know you this week and next week. Until yesterday when your match was up on the website or the app, it said "no photo."
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Now I have a photo. Now I saw my photo.

Q. They added it. Did you take a picture with them?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I think I took a picture with WTA and US Open.

Q. You notice that had they didn't have it before?

Q. How did you feel when they didn't have it?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I'm okay with it. I had a WTA picture with short hair. I didn't like it actually, so it was okay without picture.

Q. I wanted to know since you started here, have you had any contact from U.S. sponsor, people that are approaching you?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Well, Yonex is here supporting me. I don't have any other sponsors.

Yeah, from the family I had some support. I mean, my mom was on the phone crying now. So, yeah. (Smiling.)

Q. You have a New York Yankees hat on now. It looks new. How are you embracing -- did you just get?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: No, no, no. I got it in Europe somewhere.

Q. Europe?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah. Not here. No. I'm not a baseball fan. (Laughter.) I just like the logo.

Q. We see you on the court. You look very nervous between points sometimes, very stressed out.

Q. What is the emotional roller coaster like in your head?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: It is a roller coaster sometimes.

Q. Yeah? What are you telling yourself? What's it like in there, up here?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I'm telling myself, It's a match point; you can do it. Oh, you lost it or you cannot do it. Maybe it's a third set. It goes on and on.

But like in the end I just stop thinking and I just try to play tennis. Yeah. Just try to close it out. Just to look at the ball and just see how it goes.

Because I felt the ball good. I was feeling good on the court. It was much better match than against Muguruza. It was -- I enjoyed playing it on Ashe. It was more comfortable during the day. It was good tennis.

I mean, maybe not so good on serve, but we returned pretty well, both of us.

Yeah, it's on and off. It's tough.

Q. It says that during your break from tennis you studied leisure management. What was that all about?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: It was about leisure management. I mean, it was some accounting, some management, marketing; I had some exams. I just passed, and, I don't know, it was easy at some point.

Q. Online school or...
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: No, I went to school like two times a week.

Q. In Latvia?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: No, in English. In Austria. It was actually interesting.

At some point I said, Okay, I will try again. So I had to stop. Yeah.

Q. What did you want to get out of that? Did you want to get a career working in a resort?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, resort or going to sports management maybe. Yeah.

Q. You spent some time in Vero Beach at the Windsor Club. What was that like? What were your impressions of Vero Beach? Did you learn anything about leisure management there?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: I learned that they always bring you water. (Laughter.) No, like you have -- they had amazing facilities there. Great clay courts. I mean, practicing there was very nice.

Before Charleston we were there because my coach, he knows the guy who works there. Mardy Fish's father is also there. Yeah. A lot. I learned a lot about leisure management there. Yeah, very much.

Q. What has been the road from retirement to this moment for you?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: It was a bumpy road. But I think what was it, it was one-and-a-half years when I started, I mean, again. Yeah, it's tough to say. It's a tough question.

I didn't expect to be here at this point of my life after retiring, so I don't know what to say really.

Q. What do you think has been the biggest factor in your ability to go from being out of the sport to being in this position?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Biggest factor? Maybe maturing. Maturing, like personally and physically, and getting better, better physically, also.

I saw that there is life without tennis, as well. So that helped me, I think. Yeah.

Q. At this point we don't know --
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: You have tough questions. I mean, come on. It's like...

Q. At this point we don't know which player you'll face in the next round.
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, I don't know.

Q. It would be impossible to know because they're playing right now. But if you could take each one individually, the challenge first with Madison Keys, if you were to play her, what do you think would be the biggest challenge of facing her?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: She's a tough hitter. She's -- I like how she plays. I like her aggressive tennis. I like her strokes.

I mean, you have to move a lot there. I mean, obviously she will try to play aggressively.

Against Caroline, I played her twice and lost both times. I mean, it's also tough rallies, because she never makes a mistake. So, I don't know against who I would prefer to play. I don't even know. Probably Madison. Probably.

Q. Why?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, because, okay, she's aggressive but I can do -- I can vary more, so maybe I can get her out of her rhythm more. Because Caroline, she's just pushing, pushing. Not like pushing, you know. She's like playing everything back. Yeah. So it's tough.

Q. What was the crowd like today? Do you remember any particular comments that they made while you were playing?
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: Not really. Not really. I don't know. Go, Ana. There was something like that. Go, Jo. That's it. It was pretty loud, but it was still better during the day than during the night. Yeah.

Q. Gulbis, Ostapenko, an Porzingis, you all have big personalities. You also have big personality. What is it about Latvians? You guys are pretty charming.
ANASTAIJA SEVASTOVA: In Latvia, when you lose everybody says, You're so bad. When you win everybody says, You're so good. I don't know why we are like that. Maybe because we live next to big country, Russia, or -- but we are a small country. We are fierce country, and we try to do our best. Yeah.

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