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March 10, 2017

Kayla Day

Indian Wells, California

K. DAY/M. Lucic-Baroni

6-4, 5-7, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How were you able to win that match?
KAYLA DAY: I just kept fighting and, in the end, it worked out.

Yeah, she was serving really well the entire match, and then I got down a break, 5-3 in the third, but I just told myself to keep fighting and you never know what can happen. In the end, it worked out.

Q. Do you ever think about the fact you're playing somebody who is more than twice your age?
KAYLA DAY: I mean, yeah, I thought about it a little bit, like, before my match, but that didn't really have an influence when I was actually playing her (smiling).

Q. You seem to have a significant amount of swagger. Would you agree with that? If so, where does it come from?
KAYLA DAY: I guess so (smiling). I try to be confident when I go out there.

Where does it come from? I don't know. I don't know where -- my dad, maybe?

Q. He swaggers?
KAYLA DAY: He's pretty swaggery (smiling).

Q. Where does the win rank for you in terms of your career at this point?
KAYLA DAY: This means a lot to me. I was really grateful to get offered this wildcard into the tournament, and it really means a lot that I can be able to see that I can play with some of the best players in the world. It means a lot.

Q. At what point out there did you feel like, okay, I've got a shot at this? That your game was causing her problems? That you were getting looks?
KAYLA DAY: I mean, it was a really close match throughout the entire match. I think at 6-5 in the third maybe, I guess, it was still a really tough game, because I was a little bit tight to close it out. But my serve had been giving her a lot of problems, so I knew if I stuck to my game it might work out.

Q. What would you say are the keys to your game? What makes you good?
KAYLA DAY: I definitely think my serve sets up a lot of my game when I'm serving well. I'm definitely more confident with my shots and I think it's able to open up my forehand down the line. I'm able to move my opponents a lot more when I'm serving well.

Q. You're listed at 5 foot 8 inches. Are you still growing at all? What's your growth spurt been like lately?
KAYLA DAY: I don't know if I'm still growing. I have grown recently, though. I have definitely grown, like, an inch in the last year. Yeah, we'll see. Maybe. You never know.

Q. Transitioning from the juniors to the pros, what are the things you've had to do well to step up your game?
KAYLA DAY: I mean, all the pros are in such good shape. And when you go into a pro tournament, I think every match is really tough and really physical, as opposed to the juniors where, like, the first couple of matches you can -- they're normally a little bit easier. So I think really stepping up my fitness has been a big part.

Q. What are your memories from the US Open last year? A lot of stuff happened for you there.
KAYLA DAY: Yeah. I was at the US Open for a long time last year. It was such a great experience for me. The women's, it was only, like, my -- I actually in the New Haven tournament the week before. I think that was really good prep for me to go into the US Open with having played some matches against some top WTA players.

So I was a little bit more comfortable when I went out there. It was such a good experience. I mean, I got two matches. I got to play one of the great American players right now, Madison Keys. It was such a great experience. And I got to play on such a big court, and that was the first time I had ever been on such a big court. I think that prepared me for today.

Q. And the junior run?
KAYLA DAY: Yeah, the junior run was really good, too. I was really happy with the way that turned out. Yeah, I played really well that week.

Q. Making this transition, what's your feeling about the age-eligibility rule with the WTA? Is that something you've thought about? Do you like it or not like it?
KAYLA DAY: I think it's both good and bad, because it prevents me from playing too many tournaments and getting, like, burned out. But, you know, also I want to be out there every single week. So I think it might be good for me in the end so I don't end up playing too much.

Q. Speaking of fitness, what kind of physical training did you do during the offseason?
KAYLA DAY: My offseason was -- this was actually, like, my first professional offseason where I had a training block for, like, six weeks. I think I really focused and emphasized my fitness. I did a lot of, like, cardio and definitely a little bit more weight training than I was used to before, because I'm still pretty young. So I had never really done weight training before.

Q. What are the keys to your serve?
KAYLA DAY: My serve? Definitely toss placement, and I have to make sure my arm is loose. When I get tight, it doesn't work out.

Q. Your tossing arm?
KAYLA DAY: Yeah. Or my hitting arm is loose, and my tossing arm. I'm just making sure I'm catching the bad tosses that I hit, which I think I did a good job of today.

Q. How do you think you see the court differently as a left-hander?
KAYLA DAY: Well, all the big points are played on the ad side, which I guess favors left-handers. So, for me, one of my favorite patterns is serving out wide and then opening up the court to hit down the line with my forehand as opposed to, like, a righty who has their backhand on that side.

Q. What's your favorite off-court activity?
KAYLA DAY: Um, going to the beach. Playing with my dog. I like to cook, too. I'm not that good, but sometimes I'm good.

Q. What kind of dog do you like to cook? (Laughter.) Two different questions. What kind of dog do you have and what do you like to cook?
KAYLA DAY: I have three dogs. One is an Australian shepherd, one is a Schweenie, a Shih Tzu mix and Wiener dog. And then the last one, we don't really know what she is. She's some type of Terrier mix.

What do I like to cook? I make good butternut squash soup.

Q. Are you training any of your dogs to be (indiscernible)?
KAYLA DAY: I don't think they are that smart.

Q. You get to play a reigning Grand Slam champion up next. So what are your thoughts on that?
KAYLA DAY: I mean, she's such a great player. I'm really excited to go out there and play her, one of the greatest in the game right now, so it should be really fun and a great experience for me.

Q. Are you feeling pressure when you step out on these courts? Great opportunity, got a wildcard, one side of it. And at the same time, maybe people aren't expecting things from you? How do you balance that? How does that feel?
KAYLA DAY: For me, I just try and just picture it as a normal tournament for me. I mean, there is definitely a lot more people than I'm used to and it's a bigger stage. In my mind, I just tell myself it's just another match.

But at the same time, I do feel a little bit less pressure, I guess, because I'm not expected to win. So, yeah, I guess I feel less pressure.

Q. How do you feel overall? How patient are you with making breakthroughs, getting whatever ranking or results you want? You're still obviously new at this, but you're still obviously ambitious at the same time.
KAYLA DAY: I don't think I'm that good at it. I mean, I want my results to come, like, now. I want everything to be as fast as possible. I think my coach is really good about telling me, like, focus on the process and improving and the results will come.

Q. You have been in a few big locker rooms, Australia and New York. Do you get star struck at all by anybody?
KAYLA DAY: Serena, yeah.

Q. Have you interacted with her?

Q. How would you describe your personality, in one word?
KAYLA DAY: Hilarious (smiling).

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