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January 3, 2017

Destanee Aiava

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

D. AIAVA/B. Mattek-Sands

2-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That took two days to finish that match. Are you relieved and happy?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah, I'm really happy to get through to the next round and struggled a bit at the end, but I got through it.

Q. Did you have a rest last night yourself? How did you approach having to wait to finish the third set?
DESTANEE AIAVA: I just tried to stay composed and focused and not think too far ahead, not think about the win or the loss. Yeah, just stayed in the moment.

Q. Did you have to occupy yourself with other stuff last night?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah, music and food. (Smiling.)

Q. What were you listening to? What zoned you out?
DESTANEE AIAVA: It's called 6Lack. My friend recommended to me. I have been, like, listening, repeat, over and over.

Q. Your mum coaches you and does a good job. Nicole, have you spoken to her about what Tennis Australia might have in store for you?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah, I don't really deal with that stuff much, but, yeah, we have talked to Nicole a bit.

Q. You're happy with the way things are going?

Q. What did mum have to say about the win?
DESTANEE AIAVA: She just said, Good job, and took me to the practice court.

Q. You went to the practice court after that match?

Q. How long were you out there? What were you working on?
DESTANEE AIAVA: I was out there for about 20 minutes working on my serve and just getting some rhythm back into my hitting again.

Q. You finished that match with an ace. You still had to go work on your serve?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah. I was a bit inconsistent during the match.

Q. What about at 5-2? Things got a little bit tight, but how did you sort of mentally make sure you were able to cross the finish line?
DESTANEE AIAVA: I was just thinking about, like, I don't have anything to lose. I just wanted to go for it from 5-4. Yeah.

Q. There's obviously going to be a bit more attention on you after a win like this. What do you think of your own mental ability to deal with that sort of thing? Do you think you'll be able to handle it?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah, I think so. As long as I have a small circle of people that help me to stay grounded. Yeah.

Q. Getting an opportunity like that, to see how your game matches up against a veteran player, a player who has done well on tour, what surprised you in terms of, you know, how your game matched up? And where did you kind of see, Okay, I've got a few years to go on certain aspects of the game?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Ah, I think the first set of the match I started off pretty bad. I think coming out, onto the court, I need to work on not being so tight and feeling the pressure.

But as the match progressed, I felt a little bit more relaxed.

Q. Were you surprised that your game matched up, shot for shot, tactically and physically, that it matched up so well?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Not really. That's what I have been working really hard on getting my game to a professional level.

Q. How do you manage schoolwork? Are you doing it in blocks or going to take three or four years to do your last two? How are you doing the two last years of school?
DESTANEE AIAVA: I'm doing 11 and 12 over three years.

Q. I grabbed your father after the game.

Q. He was in tears. I have never seen him prouder. I asked him about having no interest in tennis at all. His comments about you were, It's just proof that anything can be achieved with hard work. Do you think that's what's got you this far, work ethic?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah, I think. Yeah, I think so. I have been working really hard the last couple of months to prepare for this tournament and Aimee Classic and the Oz Open.

Q. Obviously mum is your coach, but who helps you with fitness and advice and just that side of things? Is that something you just work out for yourself?
DESTANEE AIAVA: My dad is my strength and conditioning coach. She's my tennis and he's the offcourt stuff.

Q. Does your mum travel with you when you're overseas?

Q. What were you thinking at the start of your match yesterday when you were at the net? You were forced to wait a long time while she was taking her bangles off and a bit of gamesmanship, and then the big warmup, almost knocked your head off with the racquet. Were you worried or do you think it was a joke? Do you think she was trying to intimidate you? What was going through your head?
DESTANEE AIAVA: A lot of things were going through my head. I was pretty nervous on playing in front of that many people. I have never played in front of such a big crowd before.

But in the second set I just tried to relax a bit more. Yeah, got back into the match.

Q. Your next match most likely is going to be on Pat Rafter Arena. It's going to keep going, because when you go to Australian Open, you might play on the big courts, too. I know you think about that, but now it's really going to happen. Is it daunting? Is it exciting?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah, it's pretty exciting. I just want to go out there and enjoy the experience.

Q. You can zone out and concentrate on your game?

Q. What do you have fun doing on the court? Like, when is the match the most fun for you? Where do you get your enjoyment?
DESTANEE AIAVA: When I'm winning points. When the crowd is cheering for me. (Smiling.)

Q. Did you enjoy those chants? A lot of these people have never heard of you two days ago, and they have embraced you.
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah, it feels pretty good to be known and supported by a lot of people. Yeah. It was pretty good.

Q. What about a lot of attention on social media? What are some of the messages? Anyone reached out that's a big name?
DESTANEE AIAVA: I haven't really looked at my phone. I have just been talking to mum.

Q. Have you pointedly not looked at it because you don't want to see the messages?
DESTANEE AIAVA: There is just so many. I didn't really have the time.

Q. Your name is great for headlines and TV, but you prefer a shortened version?

Q. What's it like being in the WTA locker room during an actual tournament, not quallies? All the big names are now here. You're walking around. What's it been like for you?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Pretty crazy. I walk in, and there is people I have watched on TV before and it's, like, Oh...

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