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September 2, 2016
New York, NY, USA
C. WOZNIACKI/M. Niculescu
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How does it feel to be into the second week of a slam once again?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It feels good. It's been a good week so far. I'm excited to have gotten so many matches on Ashe. I'm happy to be here just being healthy and playing well.
Q. She has a pretty unique game style. Do you feel like her dropshots are an offensive weapon or sort of a defensive shot?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: To be honest, you're just trying to focus on yourself, because once you start focusing on her your game will fall apart. You'll feel really bad about yourself.
She's a frustrating player to play. She plays very smart. It's a complete different game style than what I or anyone is used to. I just tried to keep my head cool.
I mean, she had some good dropshots. That's the way she kind of moves the opponent in. If you're a little too late she will do a lob, and that's even more frustrating because you feel like a little kid being schooled and running back and forth.
But I think I managed that pretty well today. I think I won quite a few of those dropshots.
Q. When you're using your own dropshots offensive or --
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Oh, for sure. When you do a dropshot it's because you have the time and because you want to win the point.
Q. How do you feel about your game right now? What are you most satisfied with?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think today I was just satisfied with how I just managed to focus the whole way through.
But I have been pretty pleased with the way I have been quite close to the baseline, just kind of moving the ball around.
Q. Is there something different when you come back here because you have had your best successes at this tournament? Do things feel a little bit different when you arrive here to start a tournament here?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Oh, 100%. It feels great to be back here. It feels like my back garden and everything feels so familiar and everybody is so friendly and so nice.
You know, all these things help you just play better, as well, when you feel welcome at a place.
I think everyone is so just respectful, as well. You see the same faces year in and year out, which is nice.
Q. How difficult has 2016 been for you? You're still regarded as one of the marquee players of the women's tour and yet your ranking at the moment doesn't suggest that.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, to be honest with you, I'm not that worried about the ranking at this point. I'm just happy to be healthy and back playing.
It's been a rough year because I haven't been able to catch a break from injuries basically. Every time I have come back something else has been hurting. Knock on wood, right now I'm feeling good. Everything is feeling good.
I'm hoping I can keep this up for the end of the year and hopefully start fresh next year.
Q. Going back to your prior answer, the comfort level that you have here, is that largely because of the success you have had at this tournament, or is it just simply because you love New York so much?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think it's a combination. I love New York, and that's helped me play better here.
Knowing I have played better here and I can do it again. I think the court suits me well. The ball goes through the air very quickly, but the court kind of slows it down a little bit.
So it fits my game well. I can run a lot of balls down. But at the same time, I can get a lot out of my shots, as well.
Yeah, and then it's always fun. I find it a lot more fun when I get to play on the big courts.
Q. Speaking of the big courts, players have voiced some concern about the noise level at Arthur Ashe. Was it disturbing at all for you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No. I don't think it's disturbing. I played the other day on Ashe, as well, with a big crowd. I loved it.
Personally, I think it's great when you have that buzz.
And also Grandstand was really noisy the other day and loud. People were getting into it. I think that's what makes the US Open fun and different to the other tournaments, is that people are having a blast and love the tennis and love to cheer everyone on.
Q. In addition to feeling comfortable here, do you also think that you came into this tournament specifically a little bit more amped up compared to when you went into Wimbledon or French Open and the Aussie, and why?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Oh, for sure. Having to skip the whole clay season and still not feeling 100% going into grass, I mean, I think -- I have to start somewhere, and I started on the grass thinking, I'm going to get some matches here and that's going to get me really into the hard court season and I will be 100% ready for that.
So I went into the grass season just trying to get momentum going. Then hurting myself in Washington wasn't really part of the plan. Then I only play New Haven basically as the US Open Series.
I was like, You know what? I'm just going to take it as it comes. I know that I'm going to get a tough opponent early on in the draw. If I play well, I know I can beat her and then it can open up for me a little bit.
You know, coming in here I have been hitting it well in practice, so it's all about the mental now. My body feels good, so there's no reason why I shouldn't be able to play well here.
Q. Were you ever instructed not to use dropshots on this surface versus some other surfaces when you were coming up as a player?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: To use what?
Q. Dropshot on the hard court versus some other surface. Have you ever been told not to use them on hard court?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Everyone always tells me, Do not use your dropshot. (Laughter.) I will hit a good dropshot once in a while, but then I will do some horrible dropshots, too.
I think I get a little bit overconfident once I make one good dropshot and I start wanting to using it too much. I have just been told, Do not use your dropshot.
I will use it on a rare occasion when I feel really good or when I see there is a big opening. But, yeah, I think on a wet clay court where it doesn't bounce or on grass it's actually a very effective shot.
Here you really have to place it well because the ball bounces up.
Q. In regard to your article in Players' Tribune, what was it like going back recollecting all those memories? How did you feel?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think it feels great. You go through the process of processing everything that's happened to this day and in my career. I really wanted also to just thank everyone who has been there from the start.
I think it also -- a lot of the players came up to me and, You know what? Thank you so much. You're a big inspiration to us because we travel with parents and we can really relate to everything that you have written.
You know, I think a lot of people don't realize that side of things. I think it's also -- you know, I think it's nice for young kids having a dream to know, you know, what we have been going through, as well.
Q. No matter what happens out on the court now, either way your next opponent will be a fairly different player than what you just finished with. Give me your impressions.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Both are big hitters and big servers. Both have big forehands. It's actually very similar game styles.
I'll need to retrieve well and keep good depth on my shots and serve well. Yeah, I just need to fight for every point.
Q. You were saying that, yeah, it's been a snake-bitten year in terms of injuries so you haven't had the match play. But you have been spending time on the rehab circuit. In this point of the season, in September, do you feel like -- it's the September of the tennis season -- do you feel you have more or less energy? Where is that all at?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think I'm definitely more fresh than the other players probably at this point. I think definitely going into Asia, usually that's when you mentally start falling apart.
I think I will definitely be more fresh than everyone else. That's why I have chosen to play a lot of tournaments at the end of the year.
It's just like I'm feeling good. I just want to take advantage of that and kind of just play, have fun with it, and enjoy the rest of the year. No matter what happens, at this point I'm just gonna take it as momentum going into next year.
You know, as much as it's been a rough year, it's also been a great learning experience. I think it's something I'll definitely, you know, take with me into next year.
In the end of the day, whether I'm 70 or 30 in the world, it really doesn't matter. If I'm not top 10 or seeded every tournament, it really doesn't matter.
I can beat anyone on a good day and people can beat me if they play really well. But I just believe in myself right now, and hopefully I can do well here first.
Q. You're obviously very familiar with Arthur Ashe Stadium. You said the noise didn't bother you. Any other adjustments you had to make with the roof and all the changes?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think the only adjustment is the shade. We are not used to having the shade on that court, and it can be difficult to see because it's really -- it's come down really strong. It's the same for both players and you really just kind of adapt.
So but other than that, it's kind of nice sometimes when it's hot to be standing in the shot. I'm like, oh, it's probably 15 degrees cooler here than it is on the other side, so I'll just let her run a little bit more. (Laughter.)
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports