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May 15, 2017

Karolina Pliskova

Rome, Italy

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You said you were coming here without any expectations. Is still that true?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yes, it's still true (smiling).

No, I mean, it's always -- the clay, it's hard for me on all the tournaments, and on the last three I probably had that expectation quite high, so it was not really good. So I just try this tournament and don't have any.

And just the players I was playing the first three, four months, still, I know it's clay and it's really tough to play my game on clay, so I don't feel really well.

Even though I have a tough first round here, I just gonna try to do my best and play a little bit better than I was playing last three weeks.

Q. You still have some expectations towards the French Open?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: My best score on this tournament and Paris is one round together, so it's not much. I just want to improve this record what I'm having in Paris and here. Here, I never won first round, and in Paris I just won one.

It's not that high, so I just want to improve this record. That's it.

Q. When in your life did you decide or start to think that you don't like clay? How young were you when you were, like, Clay is not so great for me?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, I grew up on clay, so it's not like I never play on it. I felt, like, okay, but still with my game and with my style and with my movement, it's not really great for me.

If you see the results, it's not like I hate it, you know, but the results are not great. That's why I just like more hard court and maybe grass.

I still have one title from Prague, but that's almost like everything what I won on clay. It's just I don't feel that my tennis is working that much like on hard court on clay.

Q. Roger Federer this year decided he's not going to play almost any clay, if any at all. He said, I did well on hard courts, I'm just gonna take a few months off, come back for grass, I like grass. Would you ever consider doing something like that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, maybe this year not really because I lost almost everywhere, but maybe for next year I'm going to think about it, no. Still, it's like if you want to play good tennis in Paris you have to play a few tournaments.

For me, it takes some time to get used to it with the movement and with the game it's a little bit different. Definitely I still want to play a few tournaments, and there is Madrid and Rome, two big tournaments. I would say for me it's no chance to don't play if I'm ready and if I don't have any injuries. Then I just gonna play those tournaments. Also, I'm like, I think, ten years younger than he is, so it's different situation me than him.

Q. So you don't think it would ever be possible for a player like you to skip a whole surface?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Not skip but maybe in future to play a little bit less tournaments and just to prepare more, because sometimes is better to don't play the tournament than to lose in the first round with a not really good match.

Q. Do you already have, like, one eye on grass and hard court?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, not even one eye. No, it's still like two tournaments and one the biggest one, so I don't want to really -- I still want to give it a try, you know, so maybe it's gonna pay off.

Those tournaments, what are just right now and what I played, Stuttgart and Prague, was like preparing for Roland Garros. I still believe I can -- in the past there were winners like with style of my game, so I believe I can have a chance to play good tennis there.

Q. What kind of explanation you give to yourself for the let's say not the exciting results that you had this year?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I'm first in the race, so I just lost like two times in the first round right now, so I would not say it's a bad start of the year. The clay tournaments are not really great, but the rest was, I think, really good.

Q. Physically you have no problems? You're fit?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don't have any problems, yes.

Q. Being first in the race, how much is getting to No. 1 in the rankings a goal for you? There has been a bunch of changes. Kerber hasn't been doing very well lately. Serena is out. It's possible pretty soon for you.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah. Still, for me, it's good that after what I lost few times right now, it's still good that I stayed there, and there are other players which play good on clay, so it's still, like, during the year it's changing so much. There are some players which like hard court and then there is this clay season, and then other players are doing well. It can change quickly.

Just happy that the clay is not that long as the hard court, and I think I'm going to play better in maybe few weeks on grass and then hard court. So for me it's just good that I stayed still on the one. Even if I would not stay there, it's just good that I'm still on the road to Singapore and then we will see.

Q. How about the regular rankings, though? I think you're 3 now. How much is getting to No. 1 soon a goal?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say me, Angie is not really doing great now, but still, it's going to be grass. I know she's defending a lot of points, but she can still be dangerous. I think she's going to find her form soon. It's not going to be that easy just to skip her.

And even behind me, it's not like I'm 3 and I just look forward. Behind me there is few other good players. Maria is back, and Petra is going to be back soon. A few girls are starting to come again back.

It's not going to be that easy, but of course is going to be like my little goal, but I don't want to just look at the position No. 1.

Q. Have you talked to Petra in terms of her comeback and in terms of how she's feeling?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don't know much. I have been on tournaments, so I didn't see her and I didn't talk to her. I don't know much how is she.

Q. Muguruza, she has a lot of points to defend; semifinal here, French Open title. I have asked her if she felt the pressure. Do you feel maybe like some kind of a different pressure to have big results on clay now that you didn't have them in the past?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, I think everyone has a pressure. Definitely the seeded players has more, because you still defend some points, and everyone is expecting you to win tournaments or play good if you are first or second seeded. There is always some pressure and always a little bit different.

So for her she's defending points. I'm not defending anything. I just want to play better than I was playing last year. I don't feel pressure right now this tournament. I just said I just want to improve my record since last year and just to go through the first round, which is not going to be easy, and that's it for me.

Q. You mentioned Petra coming back, Maria coming back starting a couple weeks ago. Do you feel like there has been more of an opening in this time with Serena out and Vika out and those players out, that there has been a little bit of opportunity here, and maybe it's bad luck for you that it's on clay? How does that shake out?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, the timing, I would say, is not really great for me with the clay, and maybe I would have bigger chance if we would continue on hard court, but that's how it is.

I think Serena, she's out for, let's say, one year right now, because she's going to be back in September. So after grass court...

Q. Stanford?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, I've heard something. And she's going to be back soon. She's such a great player that she's going to need few tournaments to get back in, let's say, top 20, 30. That's going to be difficult. Serena, she's going to be out right now.

Maybe it's a little bit opening, but I don't think -- I beat her last time, so for me it's not that big change that she's not going to be here.

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