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August 18, 2017

Garbine Muguruza

Cincinnati, Ohio

G. MUGURUZA/S. Kuznetsova

6-2, 5-7, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You looked very relieved at the end. Talk us through the match from your perspective.
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: Well, I think it was probably one of the best matches of the year, you know, because I felt like we both played very well. Especially in that third set, you know, we were winning points and our serve was there.

You know, I know that I win, but I'm sure she, you know, she feels was a great match, as well, because a tough battle and very hot out there, also.

Q. Third sets have been great for you in the past two matches. What's making the difference, do you think?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: I don't really know. I mean, I'm trying to -- you know, it's the last set. You give everything you have. Trying to be brave and aggressive, not panic, because you're in the third set. And I guess it's working.

Q. How good does it feel, since Wimbledon, to be able to put together good results immediately after everything and kind of maybe quiet down all the whispers of people saying, Can she hold that level?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: You know, I'm happy the way I'm playing and the way I'm going through these tough matches, because, you know, I've got to dig in and somehow win them.

But for sure, even if I didn't win a tournament, I'm very happy that all these tournaments I'm, you know, getting deep into the tournament. I feel good and, of course, like you said, tough after Wimbledon. I'm happy that I did something different, or I guess I learned not always happens, but I really learned. And, well, here I am.

Q. What do you think you did learn, though, between winning Roland Garros and winning Wimbledon this time around? What's been that difference?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: Well, I felt when I won French Open, you know, that was going to help me to win matches just because I won, or I could play like that the next tournaments. You know, your mind is in a different situation.

This time I'm not expecting to play like I played in French Open every tournament, you know. I'm not expecting, just because I won Wimbledon, I'm going to win Cincinnati. It doesn't work like this.

I'm working hard to be able to perform that and not believing that it's going to be just there, you know, not for granted.

Q. Was getting more consistent results in the non-Grand Slams or after Grand Slams a focus of you and your coach, especially after winning Wimbledon this time around?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: You know, I'm focusing -- doesn't matter after or before Wimbledon. I'm focusing on improving that. I felt like before maybe I was out in the early rounds a lot of times, and I wanted to change that, because I feel like I'm a top player and I should be able to work hard and find a way to, you know, to go through all these tough matches. I'm happy that I'm doing it this year.

I feel much more professional, and in general I feel more player going through these tough matches and getting big rounds.

Q. Has that been a challenge, though? All the talk on the tour is you want to peak for the biggest events and that, you know, not necessarily bringing your best game each week is a challenge.
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: I mean, it's always a challenge. This match could be, you know, I don't know, quarterfinals of Wimbledon. I guess I managed somehow. I always get this question, and I don't really know what to say in Grand Slams, you know.

I'm doing -- what I want to do is improve every week. Every tournament I go, I will have to take it as a very important tournament. There is no stupid match. You know, that's how I feel. Because when you think today's match is very important for the next one and for me and for preparing, and so I'm concentrated on every tournament I play.

Q. When Jo Konta won Stanford, she commented that, Now I really believe I belong in the Top 10. Do you remember that moment when you thought, Yeah, I'm here? I deserve it?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: I felt it. Yeah, I felt it. Probably the biggest shock was doing the final of Wimbledon in 2015 when I felt like, Oh, I'm in final of Grand Slam. I felt like, yeah, I don't know, something, you know, clicked in my mind and I felt like I could be one of, you know, of the top players. Probably that was my moment, not Stanford.

Q. You said one of the differences is you feel like you're able to be a bit more professional?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: Not professional. That's not the word. No, that's completely a wrong word. More experienced, let's say. "Professional," no, forget about that word. (Laughter.)

Because I think I am. It's not that I am more now. It's just that I'm managing to, with all the knowledge and experience I have lived, putting things together, and that's...

Q. You mentioned it was hot out there today. It's going to be hot in New York. How would you assess your fitness level as you head into the Open?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: It's tough, because you feel like the heat hits you, and it was difficult to play at 11:00, because, you know, the sun is just there.

But I look at the forecast every day just to have an idea, and I was ready for it. I try to bring ice towels. And I remember last year was very hot. I even had a heat thing in the US Open.

I don't know. Australian Open is crazy, as well. We kind of, you know, know how to deal with.

Q. Are you doing anything different in your training regimen to prepare for the heat now as opposed to maybe two years ago?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: Not really, because there is not -- you cannot do so many things. No.

Q. With everything going on, it could be easy to be down today, but what's your favorite moment of the day and what are you grateful for right now?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: My favorite moment of the day? Obviously winning the match. They didn't finish yet, but the moment where you spend two hours, 40 or something in the court running side to side and you got the victory, you know, it feels very good, because at the end, you know, that's when I wake up and warm up and do all these things to go out there and win a match, and especially this way gives me a lot of pleasure.

So, you know, I'm happy that, I don't know, that I stayed calm, that I stayed calm.

Q. After winning Wimbledon, you made an appearance on the Chelsea Handler Show. Can you tell us about that experience? What are some of the cool things you have been able to do because you're a Grand Slam champion?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: Yeah, I went to LA to train there right away. I had Stanford, so it was a great place. I did the show. I thought it was funny. She has a very -- she has a special humor, I think. I was, like, afraid at the beginning. I was, like, Okay, I have seen some stuff, and she can be cruel. (Laughter.) She can be tough.

I had fun. I'm a very open person. I like to talk. We had a conversation, actually, because coming from Wimbledon, and stuff, we had a lot to joke about, and it was fun.

I met the president of Spain, actually, for the first time. He always calls me but it's never in person. It was a whole storyline, and I met him.

But not a lot, honestly. Right away I went to train, because I'm, you know, Don't think too much. I wanted to forget about it. I don't know. It's my way.

Q. Looked like you had, like, a ribbon or something on your visor?

Q. Can you talk about what that was and what it meant for you?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: Yeah, I thought about wearing it, but I was playing in a dark outfit, so I thought no. I decided to have it on my visor. You know, I just posted a picture saying I had it in my mind, in my visor, but I don't know, I felt to have it today, because, first of all, it's special for me and after what all happened.

I see all my friends sending messages and we have like a chat group. Everybody is, like, Everybody's okay. So I'm, like, I have to do it. I don't know. Hopefully it helps. I don't know. Not really, but...

Q. You play either Pliskova or Wozniacki. Pliskova has to play twice today. Difficult matchup either way. Can you talk about what you expect in the semi?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: I'm gonna concentrate on myself, especially after these two matches, and not really on who I play, because no matter who's gonna be -- you know, Pliskova is more aggressive; Wozniacki is maybe more solid.

I think this time I have to focus on me and recover, to be able to perform my tennis no matter who is there, because it's not going to really -- you know, not gonna do serve-and-volley, because that's not my game. Just rest.

Q. You said "experienced" instead of "more professional." Are you surprised that you continue to learn so much about yourself and your tennis? Players talk about it a lot, I'm learning...
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: Incredible. I'm completely different, you know. Yes. I always say that three years, four years, two, is such a short time, but for us and our career is ten. It makes a huge difference, especially if you have all these victories and emotional moments.

I see things with a little bit different perspective. I take things less dramatical. When I was younger, I was, like, crying and pissed and this, you know, and all this. Now I'm, like, Okay, it's not a big deal. I guess everybody felt that way. Me is in tennis. I don't know.

Q. What's the hardest thing to cope with when you you have won a slam? There is a lot more calls on your time and a lot more people wanting a piece of you. What was the hardest thing from Roland Garros, and what do you feel you have done so much better this time around?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: Roland Garros hit me, because it was the first one. I felt like, you know, it was French Open. Like I said before, I thought I was going to be able to play like that more often, and in fact it didn't help me at all to think that.

But I didn't do anything -- I didn't do a lot more things compared to Wimbledon. I stayed very calm. But I felt like in Wimbledon, like, I did it again, what a great feeling. Okay, now, I have to play. Because when I went to Mallorca, it was so fast. And after Wimbledon, I didn't process it yet.

So I was, like -- suddenly everybody was, like, Oh, you're going to win now Wimbledon. So everybody was -- and I feel different now. It's not -- I don't know. Just more relaxed.

Q. Older, wiser?
GARBIÑE MUGURUZA: Just more relaxed. Yeah, maybe older, I think, but -- yeah, relaxed.

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