home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 6, 2017

Jelena Ostapenko

Paris, France

J. OSTAPENKO/C. Wozniacki

4-6, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. You're laughing. Does this feel not real to you, or what is your emotions on being in the semifinals of the French Open?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, I mean, it's really nice, because it's first time for me in the semifinals of a Grand Slam. I'm just really happy to be there.

Q. I just wonder, from your notes, it says you did a lot of dancing when you were little. Did that prepare you for stages like this? Were you ever in any big competitions or put on some big performances that perhaps helped you with your nerves today?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: You mean in the ballroom dancing? No, of course not. I was just doing some, like, Latin championships in ballroom dancing. And I think the courts I play are much bigger (smiling).

Q. But you were still quite young when you were dancing, so it must have been good preparation in some way, surely?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, for sure.

Q. You were here, I think, three years ago when you watched Gulbis make his run to the semifinals. Now you're in the semifinals yourself. Did you think, I'm going to do this before I'm 20? Are you surprised by the fact you made the semifinals here as young as you are?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, I mean, of course when I came here I didn't expect I'm going to be in the semis, but I was playing better and better every match. So I think if I keep it up, I think anything can happen.

Q. Things did not go very well for you at the start of today's match. How much of that was what you were doing, what Caroline was doing, what the wind was like? Nerves, maybe? Why do you think you had such a hard time at the start, and then how were you able to turn that around?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, Caroline was playing pretty well today. And at the beginning was really windy and was really tough for me to get my game, because I couldn't expect where the ball was bouncing. She served pretty well, and then I just got my game back. Yeah, I felt quite confident.

Q. You hit some very attacking shots from the baseline. But when you also had to hit winners from the net, as well, you got some good wins at the net. Do you think that you have got a good all-around game, now that it is developing all the time, both from the back of the court and at the net?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, I mean, I'm playing quite aggressive. If I have a chance to go out to the net, I'm going to the net and I just finish the point, because I think it's easier.

Q. Tennis is very simple?

Q. In Charleston when you beat her, you hit 40 winners. In Prague when you beat her, you hit 70 winners. It's true. Today you hit 38. What is it about that matchup between you and Wozniacki that kind of unlocks this within you, you think? Why does it work well for you?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I don't know. I mean, every match we played was a very tough match, because she's playing really well, and she's very consistent.

In my mind, every time I go on court to play against her, I just know that I have to stay aggressive, but to not go for every shot because I have to be consistent, as well.

Q. I know you have been working with Anabel this clay season. What makes this partnership work, I guess?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, is really nice to work with her, because she's very experienced and she knows a lot of players. We are improving some things and working on some things. I think it works pretty well.

Q. Caroline was in here and she said she found it very hard to read your shots. Is that something you have developed or just a coincidence your technique is like that?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: No, of course I was trying to play different, not to play every shot the same spot. And, yeah, I think after the first set today I felt pretty well my game, so that's why probably it was tough to read.

Q. Last teenager to have a semifinals here was ten years ago. Do you think you can be the leader of a new generation?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, our year, 1997, is pretty strong because we have a lot of players in top 100 and top 50, as well. So I think it's maybe kind of new generation.

Q. It seems the crowd on Lenglen, they were cheering for you. Do you like this, like this atmosphere, and why do you think they are so keen on you?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, I really like to play on Suzanne Lenglen because the people were supporting me a lot, and I felt great out there.

Q. Back to the dancing, in all seriousness, do you think that that kind of footwork helped you in tennis? And what was your favorite dance to do when you were younger?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, of course, I think it helped me. And I'm still doing it now just for myself, the dancing. My favorite one is Samba.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the relationship with your next opponent, Timea Bacsinszky? It will be both your birthday on the semifinal. And she told us that you saw each other in the locker room after the match and said, Well done. Can you talk a little bit about your relationship?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, I think we are good friends, because we played the doubles in China last year, and that's how I got to know her. She's a really nice person. Yeah, both of us will have the birthday, so I'm really looking forward to the match.

Q. Wondered, before you got a Grand Slam semifinal for your birthday, what's been the best birthday present you have ever had?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think maybe this one is one of the best ones. Because to play semifinal of Roland Garros on your birthday, I think it's really nice (smiling).

Q. When you were younger -- and you're already young, so that's a stupid start of the question, honestly. But a few years ago when you were a junior, and you thought about what might be the Slam when you turned pro that you'd have the deepest run in, did you ever think it was going to be in Paris?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Actually, no, because clay is not my best surface. But I really love to play here, because here the clay is a bit different from other clay. It's pretty fast, and I think it fits my game pretty well.

Q. Anabel, what's the thing that's she's been able to work with you the most? Is she more like a scout and can look at opponents and tell you what they are going to do? Or is it more tactics and technical stuff with her?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think all together we are just working on some things and trying to improve. Yeah.

Q. You have never won a title before. Can you just imagine that your first title could possibly be a Grand Slam?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, I have to take one step at a time and just -- I'm still in the semifinal, and it's gonna be a hard match. So I just have to go out there and just do my best.

Q. What do you need to do now to play your best tennis? Do you just carry on as you have been playing so far, or do you do something a bit different?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think as I am playing pretty well this week and I am more and more confident, and I think that helps me a lot with my game.

Q. You always give very quick answers. It's very good. Not like Bacsinszky, for instance. So you didn't learn anything from Gulbis, who also was a very extrovert in talking and giving jokes and things like that. Would you prefer to be the way you are or sometimes you would like to change?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, I'm just trying to give the best answer I can (smiling).

Q. You have played doubles with Timea last year. You have practiced together quite a bit, she said, as well. What do you feel you have to do in that match, and what do you think she can do to disrupt your game? Can you just preview, analyze that semifinal a little?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, her game is very different. She can mix it up a lot. She can play aggressive. Also, she can change the rhythm and everything. And I think I have to just stay aggressive and to just play my game.

Q. It's going to be your 20th birthday, and I can imagine there were some plans. Did you have to cancel anything?

Q. Did you have great plans for your 20th birthday?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, I actually didn't expect that it would be here in Paris, but I'm really happy it's here. Yeah, I'm going to enjoy it, but I will have plans after the tournament.

Q. Why do you like the Samba the most?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I actually think because of the music, because some really nice songs fit Samba. So that's why.

Q. Do you feel as though, you know, here in Paris everything that's happening around you, does the city suit you? Like, is it different than Melbourne or Wimbledon or the US Open? Is there something special about Paris that just suits you? Or you're just winning matches?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I actually like all of those cities, but probably Paris the most, because it's a really nice city. Yeah, I'm playing better here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297