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January 24, 2017

Coco Vandeweghe

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-4, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does this feel?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: It feels really good. It's amazing to be in a semifinal. But, you know, not satisfying. I want to keep going, keep playing. There's more things to do out on a tennis court that I'm hoping to achieve.

Q. How would you rate your performance out there today?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I thought it was pretty good. I thought I took care of the things that I could control, which is the most important thing: not letting outside factors affect anything that was happening.

She's going to play some good points. I'm going to play some bad points. Also vice versa, I'm going to play some good points and she's going to play some bad points.

It's kind of weathering the storm a little bit, knowing what Craig and I talked about before the match, the game plan, is going to work, and believing in it, not wavering from it, which I'm very proud of myself for doing, especially early in the first set when I was kind of squandering quite a few breakpoints.

Q. Do you think playing doubles helps you in terms of brushing up your volley or something?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Absolutely. It gives me a better idea of where to be on the court as far as angles go. That was part of the reason why Craig made me play doubles, as well as returning. Also along with that, just getting more time on the court. Being in different arenas.

I made it onto many big stages for doubles before I did in singles. I think it's a little bit more calming when I get out there for singles because I've already stepped out on the court, instead of it being my first time on a big stadium.

Q. We've seen a couple of great Wimbledon champions, Roger and Venus, get to this stage. You often seem happy on a quick court. Is the speed of the court really helping you at the moment?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Well, I grew up on fast courts. In California, we grow up on quick courts. We grow up playing in the parks a lot for the junior tournaments. I definitely did not see a clay court for the first time until I got invited to play Junior Fed Cup in Italy. That was the first time I ever saw a clay court or stepped on it.

For me, it definitely is more comfortable for my game. I think I definitely have a more true outlook on the court when it's a little bit faster. I mean, as long as it's a hard court and not a clay court, I'm pretty happy about it (smiling).

I know what's going to happen. No screwy bounces or anything like that. I think fast courts definitely help me, but it helps the opponent, too, to rush a player and everything like that.

Q. Obviously the next match is on your racquet. Your coach has been with Martina Navratilova, Mary Pierce, Lindsay Davenport. Does that help you a little bit?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, Craig and I get along great. It's kind of a give-and-take relationship definitely where I take from him right now more than he's giving me. Before the match I was quite honest with him that I was a little bit nervous and I was a little bit scared.

He's like, Okay, listen, that's normal to feel like that. But go out there, you'll be settled within the warmup. If it's not the warmup, the very first game you'll be settled. Don't even worry about it.

It's just the calming voice of someone you trust, you know that trusts and believes in you, was enough for me to feel better about myself just in this one situation. That happens a lot. I would say more on the practice court I give it to him more than anything (smiling).

Q. You talked about Craig's voice, how it was helpful. In your career, what other voices have been helpful to you over the years?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Well, a lot of different ones. I was definitely not a player that stuck with one coach in particular. Growing up, my grandparents were big sounding boards for me. My mom was a divorced parent. To have two extra eyes that kind of raised my mom, that I could run to if my mom was upset with me, go eat Oreo cookies with my grandmother, it was great.

I would equate a lot of the presence of just my overall demeanor. Unfortunately both of them are no longer with us today, so I don't have that anymore except when I sit quietly in a room, I feel the need to talk to them, I feel like I can.

A lot of different coaches through my career, not only in tennis, but basketball coaches, soccer coaches. Coaches hold a very big role with young players. I think it's very important to have a good, responsible coach that can speak to many different players.

As John Wooden said it, it's not how many ways you can say -- not one player can say one thing the best way, it's how many ways you can say one thing.

If one coach was telling me to get under the ball and hit more spin, I was, I don't get it. Another coach says it a different way, that got it. Doesn't matter, same result.

I think it's very important for young players to get a good coach, just a good coach in what they need. Maybe it's a leadership role, technical role, or a friend, something like that. I think it's very important.

Q. Can you name a few of the names coaching-wise?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Well, I mean, the core group that developed my game would be Jackie Cooper, Guy Fritz, whose brother Harry Fritz did almost all my technique. A couple others along the way. Allison Bradshaw was there a lot, especially when I was 12, 13 years old. Then Vic Braden was around here and there. There was a local pro, Andy Volkert, that would help me out.

In the early stages of my career, I didn't have one set coach. I was at a lot of different places. It's where the good juniors were where I was practicing. Maybe it was an after-school clinic I could make in between a basketball practice, soccer practice, something like that.

Q. Chris Anstey, you have a local supporter in your cast. Is it through your coach?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Yeah, Craig and him are very good friends from way back when he played for the Dallas Mavericks. I didn't know him from my basketball lineage at all. That's how I met him, was through Craig.

Q. Do you ever feel like the Vandeweghe name is kind of a burden, people are expecting a lot of you?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: No, not really. In my family, if you think you're too high, you'll get put down really fast. They're good about that.

It's a very competitive family, whether it's just playing cards around the table, or if it does end up coming to sports. But, you know, I like to think I'm smart enough not to mess with anyone in their said sport that they like to play. But not always. I did get schooled in the pool by my mom quite a few times trying to be a smart kind of individual. My brother and I got beat in HORSE Kiki because we thought we could out-shoot him. My grandfather, I always thought I had quicker hands than he did, so little hand-slap games, things like that.

They're just my family. Nothing else, just like, regular aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters. They're quick to bring me back down off my pedestal if I get too high.

Q. Nice anecdote about Venus, asking for an autograph when you were young. Do you think how far have you come or how far she's come?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: She was already a great player when I asked for an autograph. Like I said out on the court, it's a dream to play someone you grew up watching. To play an unbelievable player, future Hall of Famer, Venus, to be on the court with her, I've only experienced it one time before.

But to do it at this stage of a Grand Slam is kind of crazy. I mean, I can't really put it into words. Not only when I was younger, it was unknown if I even wanted to play tennis, because I was playing basketball as well, but it was kind of, like, you see that, you see it happening, but you more see yourself there. You don't see who the opponent is on the other side when you get there.

To definitely have two Americans against each other in the semifinal I think is pretty cool.

Q. Do you think it will be on your racquet? You said you have the confidence of going in to win. Same thing for the first slam semi?
COCO VANDEWEGHE: I'm playing my best when it is on my racquet, so I hope it is.

Q. You have a pretty remarkable record against top-10 players, not just here, but seven matches back. Anything about the occasion? You said you were nervous and scared, but you don't seem to play that way.
COCO VANDEWEGHE: Maybe I play better nervous and scared. I don't know. I think I don't shy away from a challenge necessarily. I never have. Growing up, I've always just been wanting to prove people wrong in a lot of different regards.

I think it's more I take it as a challenge. I take it as an enjoyable challenge. It's what I want to do. It's where I want to be. To face the best players is definitely an accomplishment, to say for myself that I've gotten to the point that I've beat and face these top players.

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