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July 15, 2017

Claire Liu

Wimbledon, London, England

C. LIU/A. Li

6-2, 5-7, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: We are have Claire Liu, our girl's Wimbledon champion.

Q. What went through your mind when those three championship points slipped through your fingers?
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah, I was definitely disappointed, but I knew if I, like, just tried to keep playing the next point, then I would have a better chance at winning than thinking back on those three points.

Q. Could you clear up the dispute with the umpire.
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah, okay. So she hit a ball, uhm, and the line judge called it out. I'm not sure, like, probably after I hit it, though. I hit the ball. I mean, I thought my ball went back in. I didn't see the ball because I, like, challenged it when she overruled it.

When it was in, she just, like, gave the point to Ann. I thought it should have been, like, replayed.

Q. How difficult was that to get out of your mind then?
CLAIRE LIU: Uhm, yeah, I mean, I was, like, those two games were pretty disappointing. Uhm, yeah, I just tried to think one point at a time, just try to be as positive as possible.

Q. How does it feel to be a Wimbledon champion?
CLAIRE LIU: It feels amazing. I'm literally so speechless. I just keep smiling all the time. I still can't even believe it. I mean, it's like a dream come true.

Q. What's happened since the victory? Have you had a lot of feedback from your parents?
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah, yeah, uhm, just my friends being here. They're, like, all really happy for me. Uhm, I'm really grateful for that.

Q. What does it mean to be the first American in so long to win it?
CLAIRE LIU: Uhm, yeah, I think it's amazing. I think, like, there were five American juniors girls in the quarters. Uhm, I think, like, uhm, all of us, like, all the Americans are doing really well.

Q. What does that say about the state of American tennis in the junior ranks?
CLAIRE LIU: Uhm, I think it's amazing. I mean, like, we are all, like, pretty good friends, uhm, and we all, like, we try to train together a lot, uhm, with the USTA. I think, uhm, it's really good to have, like, a good group of juniors like, uhm, pushing each other.

Q. Sam Querrey gave you a shout-out yesterday. Was that inspiring to you? Do you see him around?
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, we both train at the StubHub Center. I see him training a lot. Definitely, like, he's a great role model to look up to because, I mean, he just works so hard. He's done so well this year and last year, uhm, here at Wimbledon.

So I think, uhm, I would definitely, like, try to be like him, for sure.

Q. Did you hear that yesterday?
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah, it was amazing.

Q. Was this particularly sweet after the French?
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah, definitely. I mean, yeah, being able to play both the French Open and Wimbledon finals, uhm, is definitely, like, an accomplishment I think already, win or lose. I think being able to get this match is really, really sweet, yeah.

Q. Which do you feel more comfortable on, clay or grass?
CLAIRE LIU: Actually, I feel, like, comfortable on both of them. I'm working on, like, having an all-around game, being able to do everything. Uhm, I think being able to, uhm, do well on those two completely different surfaces, I think it's really good for me.

Q. How well do you know Ann?
CLAIRE LIU: We don't really know each other that much. We haven't really seen each other, like, uhm, at a lot of tournaments. I think, like, these last two weeks we've been around each other a lot. I think, like, we're getting to be friends. I'm not sure.

Q. What is in the water in Thousand Oaks? Where did you train?
CLAIRE LIU: When I was younger I trained at the Cal Lutheran University. When I was starting, like, seven or eight, I just went to Carson at the USTA Training Center at Carson most of the time.

Q. Who were your very first coaches?
CLAIRE LIU: My very first coach was Mike Gennette. He's, like, the men's coach at Cal Lu. Now my coach is Chris Tonz. He's my USTA coach.

Q. Talk about the USTA program. Is that a huge boost for you? Is it really important? Would you be where you are now without them?
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah, definitely I would not be where I am without the USTA. They've done so much for me. I've been fortunate enough to be able to travel with the coaches and train with a lot of the players at the USTA. I think that's definitely helped me, like, in just being able to train with, like, my friends. We're helping each other.

Q. One of the great things about Wimbledon is there's so many luminaries around. Have you had any fun encounters or good advice?
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah, uhm, one of my best friends, Taylor Johnson, her mentor is Billie Jean King. I was able to have dinner with her before Wimbledon. It was, like, such an amazing experience, for sure.

Q. What was your takeaway from that?
CLAIRE LIU: I think definitely just focusing on getting better, like, uhm, not focusing on winning or losing or the results, just trying to get better each day, and have fun, for sure.

Q. What are your plans for the U.S. swing? How much are you playing pro events?
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah, I'm basically going to play pro tournaments, uhm, till US Open. I don't think I'm going to be playing any juniors.

Q. Do you know which ones yet?
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah. I'm playing the 60K in Sacramento. I'm playing, uhm, the Bank of the West quallies. I think that's, like, the main two that I know for sure.

Q. Have you turned pro?
CLAIRE LIU: No, not yet.

Q. San Diego?
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah, for now, definitely.

Q. That is a junior event.
CLAIRE LIU: Yeah, yeah.

Q. How will you celebrate this? What are you going to do?
CLAIRE LIU: Probably just hang out with the friends. I haven't had Indian food yet. I love the Indian food here. I'm definitely going to go to Indian tonight.

Q. Can you imagine lifting a Grand Slam trophy? Do you think you have the game to get there someday?
CLAIRE LIU: Hopefully, I think. I'm just going to try to get better every day and, uhm, hopefully the results will come. Hopefully I can, yeah, be doing that.

Q. If you could choose one, which one would you choose to be your first?
CLAIRE LIU: Uhm, US Open, for sure, yeah.

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