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June 6, 2017
T. BACSINSZKY/K. Mladenovic
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.
Q. Second semifinal in three years. Just how special has this tournament become to you? Is it less surprising you're able to always find this sort of magic here time after time?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Well, I think the magic has been happening here for me here always, like, even the first time I came here as a little kid. Still finding out why. I have some ideas, but I'm still not sure if it's 100% this or that.
And then, like, as a pro, well, it's the only Grand Slam I think I have never lost yet in the first round. Already before in my first career something was, like, happening here and played some solid matches all the time.
It's the Grand Slam which is, like, closer to us from the region I'm coming from, French-speaking part of Switzerland. So we have been following it quite a lot.
If I'm surprised? I mean, I would say yes, because I amaze sometimes myself with, like, the focus I can have on some important moments during the whole tournament. And probably the experience of being that I have been already twice in the quarterfinals and made it even to the semifinal once helped me a lot, especially today.
But, I mean, I feel all the time as a little kid of almost 28 years old. Not yet. Two days (smiling).
But, yeah, I'm just very excited to be here all the time, and especially when I'm able to express myself pretty well with a tennis racquet.
Q. Quarterfinals last year and this year has been a tale of two Kikis, essentially. How were you able to make sure this one went your way, especially considering the very difficult circumstances with all the rain delays and everything?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, last year it was an appetizer, though, for this year. So I was ready for heavy clay, too. I can say now I had the chance to practice with four degrees in Biel in Switzerland. A couple of weeks ago, maybe a month ago, I practiced with Viktorija Golubic and literally it was snowing on court. So heavy clay, I think I practice quite well on it, so I was ready for that.
Today with the wind, this is something you cannot really order to practice with in Switzerland, but I think I just tried -- I mean, I don't like to play with the wind. I'm not sure if any other player likes it. But I just said, anyway, I have no choice, and I have no influence on that. I just better be friends with the wind today and with the rain delays, as well.
So I just tried to take everything -- I mean, it's easy to say with a smile, but I just tried to take it as it was coming and not getting angry about anything. Just really focusing on what I can do with the options I have with the weather today. How can I match the weather with my game plan today?
Q. How did you feel the crowd today? Because we had some players having rough experiences playing Mladenovic and French crowd. Seemed to me they were especially polite towards you for a French crowd.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Well, I felt sometimes the big roar of a stadium, and it takes you -- it's tough. I mean, it happened already today a few times. But I was really ready for that, and, I mean, this is something you can expect if you play top-form, in-form player, which is playing in front of the home crowd. So I was really ready for that.
Somehow I like it, as well. I mean, they are not against me. I know they are rooting for her. And I just like when something's happening on a tennis court. I don't like those stadiums when you play well or both players are playing well, but they just, like, kind of numb. It wasn't like this today.
So still they were rooting for her a lot. Probably not as much as against GarbiĆ±e Muguruza the other day. The reason, I have no idea idea. I'm not sure it's because I'm some kind of player. I don't know. But anyway, I knew I had to deal with it. I think on that side, on that part, I did a quite good job. Because I think every time I heard this, like, big roar of the public, like, even in last game when she had a break point, right?
So, yeah, to be honest, I was so focused on many things that I can barely remember everything today. But I was just focusing on how am I gonna win the next point? What can I do to bother her?
I was ready, anyway, for everything from the beginning on. And I think it helped me quite a lot to have this spirit.
Q. Happy early birthday. Are you aware that it is also Jelena Ostapenko's birthday?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: I know because we played doubles together last year in Wuhan. We actually played quite well together. We were, like, thinking that maybe it could be a good match, as well, for the future to play doubles together.
Yeah, it's pretty funny. I think it's pretty cool, though. I saw her in the gym just right after our matches today, and so we both said, like, mutually to each other, Well done. We hugged each other, because, I mean, she's a really nice girl. To me, she was all the time very nice. We practiced quite a few times together, too. I was happy for her that she was in the semifinal, as well.
And that we are sharing the same birthday. But lucky her, she's way younger than I am (smiling).
But maybe lucky me, experience--wise, I don't know. But anyway, I think those stories are just very good and nice. You guys have something to talk about.
Q. You said a few minutes ago that you've got some feelings as to why this tournament is so special to you and why you do so well. Can you tell us a bit about what those feelings are and why you think you play so well here?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: As I mentioned before, I'm still not sure exactly about everything, but...
Q. Tell us, anyway.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: No, there are some things I'm going to keep for myself. Sorry. Or not sorry (smiling).
I just know there is this fire inside of me, as I mentioned, and earlier this week, too, which is keeping, like, really burning, like, which is warmer and which helps me a lot.
I mean, you have your favorite surface. You have your favorite moments in the past on some tournaments.
It's different for everyone. I mean, Roger, it was Wimbledon. Stan, I think as far as I knew, it was the French Open but Australia was probably something, I mean, which became more important than the French the first time. But then he still got -- I mean, he still played very well many times here at the French because he's, as well, a clay-court player. At the beginning he was more a clay-court player, I would say, because we shared -- his former coach is my coach now, so that's the only infos I've got.
But for everyone there is one tournament. For me, there was the former tournament in Zurich, as well. Now Gstaad there is something special. There is a special bond, and I'm lucky to have it here in Paris with the French Open.
So, yeah, I'm enjoying definitely all my minutes that I'm spending here.
Q. You have said a lot of times that things that happen in your past have helped you to deal with pressure more. I'm wondering what form you think that takes? Is it because you feel less pressure at a Grand Slam now knowing that a Grand Slam quarterfinal isn't, you know, the be-all and end-all of life? Or as you just said before, it gives you an extra fire in your belly?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: In my tiny belly, eh?
Well, being that -- knowing that I have played already -- how many? Three other quarterfinals. Today, I mean, it was -- my first quarterfinal here two years ago, it was something that, I mean, was pretty new. I mean, completely new. I could not sleep at night. I had, I mean -- it was something very big.
Then experience gives you this -- how do you say this? Not advantage but this knowledge that when you finish a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, then you do your second one, your third, then you realize, well, at the end, it's, as well, a tennis match.
Before the quarterfinal and after the quarterfinal, you're the same player, I mean, same person. Excuse me for that, but you go to the bathroom the same way.
It's not -- I mean, at the end, it's a tennis match, and you have to feel the privilege that you're playing it and you've worked so hard every day for your whole life to be there. Eventually, because many are not succeeding, not going so far, are not lucky enough to go so far, or -- there are many things, many influences in your tennis career. But when you're over there, you just enjoy the moment.
And that's what I told myself today, as well. Just enjoy it. You're privileged. And, well, maybe I went through -- I'm not going to say easier, but it was more smooth emotionally for me.
Well, if I would have lost today, I would have probably tell myself the same thing. Okay, well, those are the things I have to work on. Okay, I'm still gonna have many opportunities. I have to create it for myself. This is, like, the pressure you can put on yourself, saying, Okay, it's not because you have a good coach, you have a good team, you can have many good things, but it comes from you, from what you create, from which chances you take and when.
So I was really, as well, trusting in myself and knowing that I have been through many things. But I'm still here and that I'm really enjoying the -- I'm lucky to do the job that I'm doing.
Yeah. Sorry for the long answer.
Q. So Roland Garros the last three years you have done very well. Do you actually get nervous or not at all?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, yeah, it happens. I mean, like, I really get nervous. Like, this night, like, I went to bed more or less at 11:00. I woke up at 4:00. Could not sleep for an hour. Went back to sleep. Woke up earlier than my alarm. My heart was beating. Like, it was a rush.
Then I imagine I was dreaming or doing a nightmare about I had to leave the hotel room to go to another tournament, but I forgot some things in the closets. And I had to give...
I remember my nightmares and dreams pretty well, so I'm going to really tell you, even if you're not interested.
But I remember that I had, like, three towels that I wanted to give to my siblings because I have three, but I forgot them in the closet. So it was a big drama, so I could not get into the plane without giving the towels of the French Open, and I woke up and I was sweating. It was terrible for me.
So probably if I would not be playing a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, I would probably not have this kind of nightmare issues.
Q. When you're on court, it goes away, I'm guessing.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah, I mean, I do get nervous, but everybody does. And as soon as you understand that it's the same for everyone, and thanks god it's like that, because otherwise you're a rabbit and you cannot feel those good emotions, as well.
Because if everything is just coming and is so easy, it would be less fun. I try to take the fun part of it.
So if I'm nervous, I try to be less nervous. If I succeed, then I'm happy, obviously, and I try to play with it and I try to take the momentum.
But I assure you I do get nervous. Sometimes less, sometimes more. It's something I cannot control and I'm not trying to control.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.
Q. Second semifinal here in Paris. Will it help you or not that Serena Williams is not in the tournament. Will this help you?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: I will answer the first part of the question. Serena hasn't taken part in this tournament, so this will help me quite a lot.
So whatever happens in my career, the experience that I had two years ago helped me quite a lot. This experience gave me some momentum. I was able to manage the tension. I understood things that I couldn't understand two years ago.
It will be a great match, I mean, the next match. The experience that I had two years ago will help me quite a lot.
Regarding the second part of your question now, the name of my future opponent doesn't matter. You could have mentioned Serena Williams. You could have mentioned Sharapova. I'm talking about these two players because they are not taking part in this tournament.
But when you reach the semifinal, your opponent will be quite strong and your opponent has deserved to book her place in the semifinal.
Today she defeated an opponent that she defeated three times, but she wanted to pull out all the stops to reach this semifinal. Caroline Wozniacki has a big experience than myself or Ostapenko. Wozniacki took part in many tournaments, and she reached the final stages of a tournament.
But whoever the opponent, I have a lot of respect, and I don't underestimate my opponent. So "respect" is the key word here. Yes, I have a lot of respect for all the players who have deep runs in tournaments. It will be a tough match for me.
Q. What can you tell us about the opponent?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: She's feisty. She's funny. She's young. We played the doubles together from time to time. I was impressed by her character.
She's feisty. I'm no longer feisty. I'm eight years older than her, even though at the French Open I'm in a fighting mood. She has great timing. She hits the ball very well.
I don't think that she's apprehensive. It was the same thing when we played doubles together. I think that she's not apprehensive at all. I thought about it. Repeatedly I saw her play many times. Last year she played in Doha against Carla SuĆ”rez Navarro. I followed the match and I thought, Is she nervous or does she feel pressure? Maybe she drinks pressure. I don't know.
Great credit to her. She has a very big serve. She's a complete player. We got along in the doubles.
I know it won't be a bed of roses.
Q. What is your wish for your birthday? Do you think that you will be lucky for your birthday? Can you tell me if your birthday will provide you luck?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: I remember that I played a match a long time ago, and I pulled a muscle twice. Do you want me to continue? It was in Hallebaddel (phonetic), and I was down 2-5, but I don't have any specific memory regarding my birthday.
Maybe I will create new memories. I think it's the same for my opponent, and my opponent will get 20. I will turn 28. So her birthday will matter more than mine. I don't have any other gossips regarding birthday.
Oh, do you speak French, Ben?
Q. Against Ostapenko, what do you expect?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Great. It's cool. Don't tell me you - you have to be more colloquial with me.
It will be a tight match. There will be lots of emotions for both players. It will be a very interesting match.
As I told you earlier, she doesn't seem to be tense. She's not tight. So I will have to make sure that she becomes tight. I will use my tactical options. I will use my experience.
I know that she's feisty. She's in a fighting mood. And I know very well Anabel Medina Garrigues, her coach. I have never defeated Anabel in the past. I'm not quite sure that I will defeat Anabel Garrigues because she does not play anymore the singles, but I will be prepared very well. I know that she will be very well prepared, as well, but I will give my heart and soul to win the match.
Q. In Switzerland you have Stan, Roger, Martina Hingis. So why Roger Federer, or to what extent Roger has inspired you? It could be Stan. It could be Martina Hingis. But what about these players? How far were they a source of inspiration?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: With Roger, I cried a lot, 18 times. Lots of emotions. I'm receptive to emotions in sport, in all kinds of sports. Martina I talked about that already. Martina knows that, as well.
At the start, it was a workload for me, a burden to me. Many people compared me with Martina. Things would have been different if she hadn't had such a career. She was very successful and people compared Martina with me. It was an honor, but at the time, I was 16 years of age, and I didn't realize that.
She's a friend, an extraordinary friend. She gives frank answers, a lot of mutual love and respect. I got a message from Martina the last match, and I got a message also today. We get along very well, and we lived a dream together. That's fantastic.
Regarding Stan, he's a source of inspiration, and it will be the case forever, more than any other Swiss player for all generations. He's very talented. There are very few players with a lot of talent. Of course he has a good touch, but he works hard. He toils. I have never seen a player who works as much as he does.
I'm quite close to Dimitri, so I can understand the hard work that has been put by Stan. So Stan works a lot. He falls, he gets up. He falls, he gets up.
But recently he has decided not to fall. So he's won so many tournaments, three Grand Slam tournaments. Roger as well, Martina as well. And when I win a tournament, I'm very happy, but I'm no match with them. There is a spirit of emulation.
You also have Belinda, Victoria. So we want to push ourselves and we don't have any limits. We don't know where is the limits. So they are all a source of inspiration, even though it is tough to be part of these groups of people who come from another planet.
But I'm following suit, and this motivates me so that I can go even further.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports