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August 16, 2017

Ekaterina Makarova

Cincinnati, Ohio


6-4, 1-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling a couple hours after that match?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, I'm getting better a little bit because after, when I came to the locker room, yeah, I had crampings on all my legs. It happened first time for me. I never had these crampings before.

But, yeah, today was unbelievable match and great fighting from both of us. Every time when we play, normally it's like three sets, a lot of times three sets. So I knew that it would be very tough match. She's a great player, a champion.

With these conditions, it's also very tough, because we played until the end in Toronto and there was quite comfortable weather and here is so humid and hot, and we just two days here. But I'm so happy that I got through this tough one.

Q. When did you start to feel the effects of the cramping and stuff like that in the match?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Just in the end of the third set, maybe when I was, yeah, 5-3, at this moment. And I had the match points. And then of course with the nerves, it kind of felt even more.

Yeah, but then it came out. It come back again during the tiebreak, because was great long points and fighting, both of us, running and running. Yeah.

Q. Do you remember what you were thinking when you fell down at 6-All?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, I just was so tired (smiling). It was so long point, and I had a match point. I was hitting, working hard to make her mistake, but she didn't.

And then I just, when I lost it, I just didn't have any power to stand, you know. I just fell down. But it was even worse, because my legs started to cramping.

So I kind of start to moving, and then when I stand up, it's gone. Yeah.

Q. In terms of notoriety here, you may be a bit of an underdog, but in terms of ability, you're really not. Do you feel like that's helpful for you to maybe have less attention on you right now? How do you feel about that?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I don't know. I think I have been a good player, and everyone knows that I have been in top 10 and I can play my good tennis again.

I was working hard. Even I didn't work during the beginning of the season, but then the hard courts, I love to play here in America. I have great results.

So I came here, good start from Washington, and was a good win in Toronto against Konta for the first time.

Yeah, I think Kerber knows for sure that I can play good tennis, because we played so many times against each other. Doesn't matter which ranking she has and doesn't matter which ranking I have. So it's always tough match.

Q. Is there anything that your coach is, like, always on you about, like, You need to do this to play well? Is there anything he's always telling you to do?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, I have now coach only on the phone (smiling). So from the next week I will work with Nigel Sears. So here is only my physio with me. He's just supporting me. Doesn't say anything. So I just try to remember all the things what Nigel told me, you know, during this tough match.

Yeah, like only my head was working out there. No one can help me with the tactic.

Q. What does the recovery look like for you? Like since the end of the match, what have you been doing to recover from cramping and everything? Going forward, you play again pretty soon, so what's the next 24 hours look like to recover?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, because that's happen first time, and the physio did the ice massage for me, but I think it started even worse, even much more cramping, because it was kind of in the middle, like, muscles got spun.

So, yeah, after that I did a good stretching and it was fine. So now I ate quite a lot and tried to drink a lot, and especially more salty food and salty drinks. Yeah, and then we will do the treatment at the hotel, and, yeah, I hope I will be ready for tomorrow.

Q. Do you try any alternative therapies of any type?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I don't know what does it mean?

Q. Acupuncture, Reiki?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, yes, our physio, they do acupuncture, so sometimes if something happen, yes, I'm quite good with this. It's working very good.

But at this time I don't feel that I need kind of acupuncture, so just need some massage and, yeah, a lot of drink (smiling).

Q. When you're late in the match like that and it's very tight and you're getting nervous and start to cramp, tiebreak, Angie was playing very well towards the end of that match, did you think you were able to win the match because you have been playing so well since Washington, like the confidence maybe helped you go for the shots a little bit more?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, definitely it was working more at the beginning that I was very confident, and I played a lot of matches already and maybe didn't too nervous at the beginning.

But then just with this condition, I start to understand that I'm getting tired. Yeah, the second set I was fighting the first half, and then I just kind of was thinking about third set. So I need to be ready to be aggressive in third set.

I changed my clothes, so kind of trying to get myself, I don't know, more ready for the third set.

Yeah, I was losing 2-Love, but then I changed, like, five games in a row, but also it's very tough that I was winning five games in a row, and kind of at 5-2, I felt like I don't have any power left. What I have to do?

And then I start of course to understand that and maybe getting too nervous because I need to, or to, like, to rush maybe sometimes, because I understood that I need to be aggressive and to finish with the one, two balls, because otherwise I just cannot run a lot.

Yeah, the tiebreak, I don't have a lot of matches with this score, but this one, it's...

Q. When you get nervous like that, and especially in the conditions you were dealing with, can you say what you do to kind of bring yourself down a little bit?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, I'm trying to breathe, trying to understand my body, trying to relax it, make focus on my body to relax it.

I just trying to breathe and make it normal, you know, not to be in a rush. Sometimes it's tougher to watch than to be there. Kind of you can control the situation.

Q. When you had that big lead in the third and you lost the lead, were you ever afraid that you were going to lose the match or you felt like you had lost your chance?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: No. I was thinking if I lose this match, leading 5-2 and had match points, I will just kill myself (smiling).

So this was kind of like, yeah, all the match points she had, I was, like, no. I will play my aggressive tennis. I'm not gonna give it to you.

Q. The mindset was never fear?

Q. Little frustration?
EKATERINA MAKAROVA: No. Well, it's -- yeah, sometimes you don't have a lot of thoughts. You know, just you hit and you know what you have to do.

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