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January 16, 2017

Destanee Aiava

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously not the result you were looking for, but what was the experience like out there?
DESTANEE AIAVA: It was pretty fun playing out there with all the crowd supporting me. Yeah, it was a really good experience. I enjoyed it.

Q. Does it make you want to keep improving and be there again and get further, obviously?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah. This isn't the first and the last time I'm going to be here. There's plenty more to come.

Q. What did you learn today? Did anything surprise you?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Nothing really surprised me. I think I learned how to be more composed out there, and I didn't rush as much. But obviously it wasn't my day, so...

Q. How do you deal with the disappointment? Everyone comes in wanting to win. How do you deal with the disappointment the next couple of days?
DESTANEE AIAVA: I just focus on what's ahead for me and not dwelling on the past.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to the rest of the year and what's out there for me.

Q. From now, what sort of schedule are you going to do this year?
DESTANEE AIAVA: I'm going to Tasmania for the 260K, and then we'll see from there.

Q. Are you proud of the way you played today? You really pushed her there in the second set. You must be pleased in how you played?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah, I played all right, but I think I could have done better. I had a lot of chances, but I didn't take them. Yeah, I'm just gonna work on that a lot more. Yeah.

Q. Was the difference in the tiebreak just an experience thing, do you think? Perhaps Mona had those moments a lot more than you and dealt with that better because of that?
DESTANEE AIAVA: I think I got a bit tight during the tiebreak and then started rushing, not really thinking through the points.

Yeah, I think that's just experience or better focus she had than me.

Q. Have you had a chance to debrief with your mother and coach yet? Are you both on the same page with what happened there?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah, a little bit. But we'll talk about the match when we get home.

Q. What do you want to do better? What area of the game have you thought, I should have done better there?
DESTANEE AIAVA: I think the returning side of my game. I had some break points and didn't take them. I've got to work on that a lot.

Q. It's been a wild few weeks for you. Obviously being from Melbourne, you find yourself in the spotlight. Have you allowed yourself or do you do it now to take a moment and step back and, you know, really appreciate what you have been able to achieve, even just by being here?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah, not really (smiling). I think I'll do that when this whole thing is finished. I'm still in doubles, and I don't really have time to focus on that yet.

Q. Did you have a chance to talk to Serena when you did the Wilson racquet thing with her? Words of encouragement from her, advice?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah, she told me to dream big and you'll achieve big. Yeah, she's quite a nice person. It was a really good experience to get to hit with her.

Q. After the game, Mona said, I wish I had served that well as a 16-year-old. How do you respond to that kind of praise?
DESTANEE AIAVA: That gives me a lot of confidence in my serve. Yeah, makes me feel good.

Q. Is hard court your surface, do you think? Are you looking forward to getting to the grass?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Clay is my favorite.

Q. Can you talk a little bit more maybe, say a few things about your mom being your coach, how it has helped your tennis, although she's not apparently a tennis player herself?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Well, she understands me, as a person. She's, like, the only one who can get through to me on court.

Like, she knows how to talk to me and then, like, I'll understand what she wants from me. Other than -- when I'm working with other coaches, they use terms that I don't really understand. It just doesn't work. That's a good combination there.

Q. Your biggest paycheck so far, although you lost in the first round? Is it time to celebrate, at least briefly?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Well, not really. I don't like to focus on that or gloat. Just taking it, you know, one tournament at a time and not having a lot of celebration, because it's only a small thing.

Q. Maybe buy a new pair of shoes?
DESTANEE AIAVA: Yeah (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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