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May 13, 2017

Kristina Mladenovic

Madrid, Spain

S. HALEP/K. Mladenovic

7-5, 6-7, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Recently you beat Spain in Fed Cup. I know this is WTA, but it was good practice on a clay court. You were expecting Garbine. Is it there that you learned the Spanish?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: What is the question about?

Q. Practicing with the Spanish players, you learned the Spanish.
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: I learned Spanish at school.

Q. You said last night you started to feel the back a little bit against Sveta. Tonight it looked like you had a good start, maybe tweaked it early. Talk about how it got worse or better throughout the match.
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Yeah, you know, I think that was an amazing final. I don't really want to talk about my lower back. Obviously I tried not to show anything. You guys are seeing pretty much everything, I guess.

Of course, it happened yesterday. I had some tensions, some pain here and there. I was trying not to show anything, not to think about it. I tried to fight over it, continue to enjoy and fight till the end, give everything I had.

Honestly, we had an amazing final, and I don't want to put any comments on my lower back saying that was the reason why I couldn't make it till the end and win that match.

I think, yeah, honestly this final was quite amazing. That's the feeling I have, because what we did today with Simona on the court, battling for two hours and a half in the last match of the tournament, knowing we for sure had both of us a long and tiring tournament to reach the final, and somehow to push even more to produce probably the best tennis from both of us for the entire tournament.

Also on the physical aspect, I feel like we've been running forever out there, left, right, left, right. Let's try forward some dropshot. Doesn't work. Left, right, left, right. It was endless, honestly. It was quite long.

Of course, it's difficult for me right now to end up this amazing week as a finalist. But sometimes it's also the beauty of the sport. There has to be a winner and a finalist.

I can just be proud out there from both of us what we showed. I think it was a great final. Great spirit, attitude, great game. Got to give credit to Simona for an amazing game today.

Yeah, just head up and only take the positives.

Q. Does the issue the lower back put Rome in any doubt for you? The French Open is coming, and I presume you would want to be 100% for that tournament.
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: No, I mean, what I managed to do on the court out there, it's the answer. If it would be anything bad, I wouldn't be able to keep fighting and produce the game I was playing, honestly.

I'm pretty sure there is no big issue, no big deal there. Just muscle tensions and tightness. I mean, lots of matches, lots of work. This is just a normal thing. I guess we all have some, you know, pains here and there.

Q. Are you playing in Rome?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: That's what I was saying just before. I mean, that's the plan. I know I have my flight tomorrow to Rome. I hope that I guess I'm going to start on Tuesday, which gives me two days, I guess, two days off.

We'll see. So far I was thinking about the present, which was here in Madrid. Now it's over. Of course, I got to think about the next one.

Q. Maybe your present is next week.
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: My birthday is tomorrow, so it's quite original. I'm going to start my birthday in Madrid, end up in Rome. What a life, right?

Q. Talk about the tiebreaker. Some pretty special tennis you were able to put together there to get over the line. As the tiebreaker began, what was your mentality and your reaction in the tiebreaker to pull off some of those forehand slices that left people kind of agape?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: We had a long match. I'm not even sure what points I played out there during the tiebreaker. I was just trying to hang in there and give myself a chance to play a third set, entertain everybody.

I think that was a great show, a great fight. Well, yeah, pretty satisfied I managed to win that tiebreaker. I think we really showed a consistent game. Honestly, we both tried to use all the shots, fast, spin, slices, dropshots, deep shots.

I'm not sure if something was missing out there today. We tried lots of things. Yeah, that was a great game.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about what Simona did well today. You forced her to elevate her game. What made the difference today tactically?
KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Running (laughter). She can maybe sign for marathon in Madrid. Is there maybe? No, I'm kidding.

She, of course, played amazing, very solid forehand, backhand, running a lot. I thought I was trying to put lots of pressure, heavy shots. Whenever I was turning around my backhand, I know this is quite a big shot, and you have to handle it and observe with the legs. It's not an easy shot. She was responding quite well.

Being very consistent, you know. Honestly, I think was about small details. The first two sets, the scoreboard shows it. It's very close.

Third set, you know, momentum here and there. She managed to handle a couple of points better. I was a bit unlucky, I have to see, at 4-2, I couldn't hold. I missed just a little bit some shots. That cost me, like, the double break. She had the lead for 5-2. If it would have been 4-3, maybe would be even longer.

No, I mean, we obviously know the way she's playing. She's very consistent, very smart. She makes you move, using angles, deep shots. Yeah, she's very tough to make a winner out there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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