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February 23, 2017

Anastasija Sevastova

Dubai, United Arab Emirates


6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Why do you think you were able to win today fairly comfortably?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think I mixed up pretty well against her. I mean, she's very solid. She started very well, but I got into my game. I started mixing it up with some stops, some lobs, just not giving her this rhythm, like every time hitting cross, cross, cross.

And I think that was the key. And also some breaks in the second and in the first set. Yeah, I returned pretty well, I think.

Q. Last year you didn't get through qualifying. This year so far you're into the semifinals. Why the difference?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, last year was a different story. I came from Taiwan. We came overnight. So I came in the morning and I played the same day.

So it was pretty tough, because I was flying all night. I lost the match the day before, so different conditions. And I think the courts were faster, also, last year than this year.

I just didn't do well last year. I didn't even practice here that much.

Q. Hard court is your favorite surface?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I wouldn't say so. I like hard courts, but I also like clay. I grew up on clay, so I think both of them.

I also like grass. I mean, I've had good results on grass, so I think I'm pretty much all-around player, yeah.

Q. The tape on your -- left leg, I think?

Q. Serious? An injury? Any pain?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, I mean, it's pretty tight because of the matches here, because of the courts, I think.

But it's manageable, yeah. I have sometimes pain in running, but yeah, I have to get through. I have to fight.

Q. What do you make of the prospect of Caroline in the next round of the semis?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I mean, I played her in US Open. It was tough match (smiling).

But, I mean, she has to beat CiCi still. I mean, she has a match. I don't know. She played three sets yesterday. So I think it was also pretty close match. And I think today it will also be close one. We'll see. I have no idea.

Q. The quarterfinal at the US Open, how much does that result kind of help propel you forward? I mean, did it --
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don't know if it helped. I mean, I didn't have good results after (smiling).

But, yeah, kind of this year it's much better, I think, because last year after US Open I got a bit sick. I also -- it was tough mentally to play.

But this year is a new year, and I feel much better. I mean, like on the practice, I was always practicing very well so I knew that results would come, yeah.

Q. Does it help you, even if it's not, you know, the results immediately coming after the US Open, but even just a result like that helping your ranking, you know, not having to play qualifying here, things like that just make life a little bit easier this season?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, for sure, makes for everyone easier if you have these results. But again, the field is so open. I mean, you can see a lot of seeded players lost. Yeah, so woman's tennis, it's quite close. Everybody can beat everybody.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about your offseason? The way you finished the season, did you have a proper rest and offseason before Australia?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah. I went to Maldives for 10 days and relax a little bit.

But pretty much the same. Like last time I practiced indoors, did some fitness, nothing special. We just arrived earlier to Shenzhen and played outside there. Nothing special there.

Q. Do you have more expectations for yourself this year, given how well you played last year, generally?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: It's tough to say. For sure, you have expectations because you're ranked highly, so you think you can beat these girls.

But again, as I said before, it's tough. It's tough to play. I mean, every tournament some other girl wins it or comes very far, so as you can see, it's close.

Q. Does that surprise you?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don't think so. I think everybody is playing well. Everybody can play now.

I mean, it's good for woman's tennis. Again, it's good for us. It's not like big difference like in some men's tennis (smiling).

But, yeah, I think it's good for girls that some young girls are coming. Yeah, why not?

Q. Does that give you sort of hope of pulling off an upset?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Sometimes, yes; sometimes, no. Again, it's how you think. I mean, if you have a good record against somebody, for sure, or if you play first time, you have a feeling that you can beat her.

But, yeah, when you see all these results, you say to yourself you have a chance every time. Yeah.

Q. What does it mean for you to make a semifinal of a Premier 5?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Is it Premier 5? (Smiling.)

No, I mean, it's great. Yeah, I don't know. Tomorrow is another match. It's not over yet. I try to enjoy it today, watch the match, and I have to be ready tomorrow. Yeah.

Are they playing late?

Q. Yeah.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: So I'm not going to play first match tomorrow (smiling).

Q. We'll see. Both play late.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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