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June 3, 2017

Caroline Garcia

Paris, France

C. GARCIA/S. Hsieh

6-4, 4-6, 9-7

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Thoughts on that win. 9-7, French Open, guessing it's pretty high up in your career memories now?
CAROLINE GARCIA: Yeah, for sure. It was a great match from the beginning until the end. It was a great fight. It was a lot of tough points.

She's really a tough player to read how she's going to play. Last set was just fight, fight, try to be more aggressive at the end. I was up, and then she come back. Then I was down and she was serving for it. I still fight.

I'm in the court, the atmosphere was just amazing. I mean, I had so much emotion to play on this court. I mean, I would not like to go this far every time in the match, but it give me a lot of emotion with all the public, for sure.

Q. Can you just try and talk us through your emotions? Your celebration in the end looked really emotional. Just try and explain it and describe it.
CAROLINE GARCIA: I mean, it's always hard to describe all the emotion you can leave on the court. I was up 5-3, 30-Love on my serve, and then I got too much for the first serve on 30-Love and miss it, and then she comes back, she play couple of great points close to the line, and then it's 5-4. And then she do great game and 5-All.

It was so many games we were very tight at the end, and even when I was down I keep fighting, and I try to be more aggressive.

It was like, I don't know, after, when I'm 8-7, 40-Love, and I'm, like, come on, stay calm, don't go too much.

I mean, it was so many difficult week, the last week for me. It's good sometime when you have this period for to learn about yourself, about your team, about the people around you.

I'm very glad I live this emotion with my team, for sure.

Q. This is the first time you have made it this far at a slam. How does that feel? And also, do you feel with the difficulties and stuff you have had on court and off court this season, maybe you had something extra to prove?
CAROLINE GARCIA: Like I said, I don't want to prove anything to no one. I mean, I play tennis since long time. I already did good, but I want to do better, for sure.

Of course the second week in Grand Slam, it's always very important for your career. It's good to be through today and do it in French Open it's even better.

I just play for myself, for my team. If people can enjoy my game, it's good, but I don't want to prove anything.

Q. Past few years this hasn't always been the easiest tournament for you. Also with the crowd and expectation, you said you have lots of emotions and feeding off the crowd. Is that something you may be embracing more as opposed to a few years ago?
CAROLINE GARCIA: Yeah, for sure. I lived a lot of things in the French Open, not always great things, but I think last year at French Open, that was help me.

And the last couple of weeks help me, too, to realize, like, yeah, you just have to play for yourself, try to improve day by day, and don't think too much about the result, about what people can say around you. It doesn't matter. The more important is what you think you are doing and what your close team think about you.

It's the most important for me. Of course I was a little bit stressed at the beginning of the match, but I played more and more good and better and better, and all the fans behind me was just amazing. Actually, she had great box. They were so noisy. Court No. 1 had to do a great job.

Q. Court No. 1 obviously is a place you like. Not sure how you feel about the bigger courts here, in terms of playing on Chatrier or Lenglen, which is probably going to be your path for the rest of this tournament. Are you ready to embrace the biggest stages here?
CAROLINE GARCIA: Yeah, I mean, I played on Lenglen for my first match, and it was good match. After Chatrier, it's a different court. But anyway, I'm ready for anything. If I want to go find the big tournament, I will have to play on the big court.

Court 1 was definitely great atmosphere. It's a little bit smaller, but it was packed and it was great.

Q. You said you are willing to talk about your fourth-round match?

Q. You play Alizé next. It's going to be two French women in the fourth round? Chatrier? She tends to have a great deal of drama in her matches.
CAROLINE GARCIA: I don't know. I didn't see any of her matches, so I don't know.

Q. You know her. You know her in general.
CAROLINE GARCIA: Yeah, I mean, everyone know her. No, I mean, yeah, it's a match. Like I say, I just want to be focused on myself, play my game, try to improve as much as I can every day and every match. So for sure it will be a great battle. I'm ready for it.

But I will think about it tomorrow, for sure. Not today.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. After some tough weeks, back pain, a lot of physio, now you're back. How do you look at this?
CAROLINE GARCIA: A lot of positive things have happened this week. More so than over the past weeks. It's been a long journey. I have learned a great deal of things about myself. You know, the problem with my back allowed me to look at myself a little differently. A lot of other things happened beyond sports, as well.

I came to the French Open with a firm commitment. The commitment is to not worry too much about the others. Instead I want to focus on myself, on my game, and little by little -- well, I have been waiting. Here we are. Entering week 2.

But again, it's great. It's better than to exit after the first round. It feels great.

But again, I said it's a long journey, and it's not over yet.

Q. Would you say that after all the things you went through it tastes even better to win now? Referring to your injury.
CAROLINE GARCIA: All victories are beautiful. But indeed, when you have particularly difficult moments, it feels maybe even better.

I think I had somewhat lost myself. I couldn't really be myself anymore. I lost my game a little bit. I was less combative.

But I'm very happy, because it's back. This week I have played good matches. In the third set today it was a tough battle, but I never let go. I was very persistent, and I'm very happy about my game play. I have been able to achieve good things.

I guess what I'm probably the most proud of is that physically I'm good, and that is really important.

Q. Are you going to have a talk and have a coffee with Alizé before your match?
CAROLINE GARCIA: No, not before, and probably not after.

Q. Alizé Cornet said things were a bit cold between the two of you. She said that she, in a sense, opened the door. What would you say about it?
CAROLINE GARCIA: I received a text message but no excuses. She said she was still standing behind her tweets, so I consider that, it doesn't mean anything then.

Q. You said you lost yourself a little bit. How are you able to find yourself again? What triggered it? Because it happened fairly quickly.
CAROLINE GARCIA: I think it came gradually. Rome was better and Strasbourg even better, and now here in Paris, it's good. I have done a lot of talking with my team. I have talked extensively with my dad, as well. Doing that has helped me look at things differently. I think I have been able to open myself.

But I mean, I'm more able today to express my feelings and that helps me understand myself and I can better manage my emotions when I'm on the court, and that's good.

It's important to be fit physically but also mentally. Mentally is really important. So we have done a lot of work on the court, at the gym. It helped me build my self-confidence. Training sessions, I could feel day after day I was making progress.

Q. For the first time you're going to the eighth final in a Grand Slam tournament. How does that feel? Just doing this for the first time in your career.
CAROLINE GARCIA: It's a very important milestone, especially given the fact it's here in the French Open, being a French player it is tremendous. But of course any other Grand Slam tournament I would say just the same thing.

I was able to really fight for today's victory. I knew she was not going to give it away. I was able to stay focused both mentally and physically. I was able to find the right solutions at the very end.

Q. Coming back to today's match, my impression was that you were clearly leading, but at the same time she was really challenging you. The impression I got is she was really reading your game play very well. For example, she was going to the right side of the court before you even hit the ball. Is that something that disturbed you?
CAROLINE GARCIA: No. I was ready for this. She was pretty well known for being very good at anticipating. She moves very well. She was No. 1. You know, I mean, I knew she was going to use my balls and anticipate, play proactively.

It wasn't easy for me. I knew I had to be aggressive and put pressure on her. Otherwise, you know, when she starts hitting with two hands, it gets very difficult. So I did a lot of running.

But in the third set I was able to become a little more aggressive and play in the court. I think that this is how I managed to turn things around somewhat.

But yeah, you're right. Sometimes she's really good at anticipating. I just played my game. She never made me doubt. I just continued to play.

Q. Tactically, in the third set, when there is so much tension, this is when you really played the best and you really disturbed her. Why do you not do that at the beginning? Is it because she's less powerful than you are? She doesn't stretch as far? She's double-handed? Why do you not play the way you played in the third set at the beginning?
CAROLINE GARCIA: I tried, but I couldn't really do it. At the beginning of the match, I was trying to play higher balls with my forehand, and then she came into the court. With her backhand she was able to play beyond me and win points.

So I knew I need to catch the ball early, but at the same time, I needed to put that spin on my balls. When I could play my forehand, I was able to manage her to stay out of the court.

I was afraid that, you know, she would take control on some points. I just really tried to play in the court.

Q. What match do we anticipate when you'll play Alizé? Isn't this difficult to play someone you know very well?
CAROLINE GARCIA: No, it doesn't bother me. I have not seen her play in a long time. I haven't seen her play during this year's French Open. I know she's a fighter. She moves very well. She really counters balls very well.

We played a little bit during training, but I haven't played her in a match for a long time. You know, when you play a fellow French, it's always a bit more complicated, because the public are there. I will think about it tomorrow to get ready.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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