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January 25, 2018
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
C. WOZNIACKI/E. Mertens
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You've been playing so well this tournament. It seems like everything is falling into place for you, that it's time for you to win a Grand Slam. Is that how you feel?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don't know. I still have one match to go. I think it's been a great two weeks so far. I'm really happy and proud of how I've managed to turn things around when things weren't going my way and keep it up whenever it was going my way.
I'm just excited. It's another finals. It's another great two weeks. Regardless of what happens now, I've done my best. When you go out there on Saturday, you have everything to win.
Q. You mentioned that match with Li Na today back in 2011. How long has that moment stayed with you throughout the years? What did you learn from that?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I mean, we're seven years on and it's still there (smiling).
But I think you just learn all the time. I've had matches where I've been down match points and I've won them, and you learn something from that. You've been up match points, and lost it. At the end of the day, all we can do is take your moment, take your time, really just go for it when you have the opportunity.
Q. Why do you think of all the matches you played, you played so many big ones, two finals, why did that stick in your mind?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think that's the one that's been most disappointing to me throughout my career. I've had many bad losses, many great wins. That's one of the ones that hurt extra because it was going into the finals of a Grand Slam. I felt like I was playing better on the day. I felt like it was my time to get there.
I think that's why it hurt extra that I lost that day, especially with being one point away. I think if you ask any player, they always have one or two matches that they'll think back on that hurt extra.
At the end of the day it's tennis, anything can happen, and that's why you have to fight till match point.
Q. Do you feel like you banished a ghost today?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, you know, it was nice. It was kind of like when I played in Toronto six times and I'd never won a match. That first round match that I played in Toronto, I was nervous serving it out, even though I was up 6-2, 5-0. I was like, Okay, I can do this. When I won, something just disappeared. I said, Okay, thankfully now I can actually win here. Then I went all the way to the finals.
I guess sometimes you just need to get through those hurdles.
Q. Was it quite eerie in that moment to be up 6-3, 5-4, serving for the match?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, it was definitely. I think I was nervous. I didn't do much wrong for the first three points of that game. I served two good serves, then I had that forehand down the line which I missed by a couple of millimeters. It was 30-15 instead of 40-Love. All of a sudden, yeah, it just turned around.
But I managed to just gather myself and thankfully closed it out in the end.
Q. What are you saying to yourself in the tiebreak to get through it?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Honestly, I just thought about trying to stay aggressive, trying to get a lot of first serves in, and just swing for it.
Q. You've been around so many different sports. What are some of the things you've learned from other sports?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: You can learn a lot of things from different sport. Obviously it's different playing individual sports, team sports.
I think having David there by my side, obviously he's had an incredible career, played so many years, there's always small things that he just tells me.
I'm like, Oh, yeah, I never thought of that.
He's like, Yeah, that actually helped me in a situation like this or that.
He's so positive and so happy all the time. It's great just to have that with you on your team.
Q. Did you watch him play in San Antonio or elsewhere?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I did. I watched him play for a few teams. Obviously it's exciting.
Q. Can you share what he's told you in terms of advice?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No (smiling). I like to keep that to myself.
Q. When you think about that match of seven years ago, did you think because you didn't win a slam when you were No. 1 in the world, everyone was saying, She hasn't won a slam, was that a nightmare or so?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No. It was just that match that was disappointing. So that was really it.
Q. Can you look ahead to your two potential opponents in the final. With Halep, obviously more on the line, not just the match, but also the No. 1 ranking.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: They're both amazing players and both great athletes, great fighters, both of them great counter punchers. They have a lot of similarities.
Obviously Halep, just like me, was down match points early on in the tournament, has come back and fought her way. If I play her, I think it's exciting because we're both playing for the No. 1 ranking. Whoever wins on Saturday will be on the top of the rankings, which I think is a cool storyline.
On the other hand, playing Angie is exciting, too. One of my great friends, someone I've grown up with, we're really close with. So that would be fun too.
So either way, I'm just going to go out there and have fun, enjoy the moment. It's been a great two weeks. I'm really happy to be there. As I said early on in the week, I could have been home already. But now I'm here and I fought my way all the way to the finals. I'm just really proud of that and really excited.
A new opportunity on Saturday, and I'm going to do my best to try and win it.
Q. Looked for a while that you might not get another shot at a Grand Slam final from the outside. Were you always convinced you would?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I always believed in myself. I had a tough period where I had a few injuries. That was kind of hard and tough mentally. But once I got past that, I knew that if I can stay healthy and I work hard, my game is good enough for it.
I was just giving myself time. I think if you don't feel like you can go all the way in tournaments, then to me there's no sense in playing. So for me it's always I want to be competitive, I want to be the best, and that's why I'm still playing.
Q. You apologized to your team when you were on court about the spray. Did you have another word to them when you got off court?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, my dad was like, All my hair is gray by now, so don't worry about it.
Yeah, I think they're really excited for me, they're really happy. They're having a couple of beers now. That's nice.
Q. Can you talk about how your game has maybe grown with you as a person. Has that happened? If so, how?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, definitely. I think once you get older, you get more experienced, you learn, you maybe read the game better. I think you learn all the time.
I think, definitely, you have to get better. You have to improve to keep being on top of this game because everyone behind you is trying to find a way to beat you. You need to be a step ahead.
I think, yeah, I've added a few things to my game. I think at the same time I've kept the base of my game that I've been so successful with.
Q. How does having such a close scare earlier in a tournament affect your psychology? Does it make you think you're invincible, it's your year?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, I think I've said it before, I was obviously down 5-1 and 40-15, almost out. But I think once you get past that, you're basically playing with house money, as they say. You have nothing to lose. You're already out, you get a second chance, you fight your way.
At this point, no matter what, from that point on everything was a plus. So every round I made was an extra plus, an extra opportunity. I'm just thankful that I managed to fight my way through that one.
Q. Do you feel good about the two US Open finals? Do you feel like you got beat by the better player on the day?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I think the first one, it was a close match against Kim. I think the first set could have gone either way. I feel like I had the opportunities. Maybe I was a little young and still it was a lot. At the same time, I think I played a good match. Again, as I said, she played better than me on the day, and that's it.
Playing against Serena... Serena is Serena. When she's on, she's tough to beat. Again, I think she was the better player on the day.
I had some tough matches leading up to that US Open finals against her, where I lost 7-6 in the third, 7-5 in the third again. At the year-end championships, she had a roll of four or five matches straight against me. So that's really difficult.
But, you know, you live and you learn, and you try again. They knock you down, you come back up. Hopefully I can change that on Saturday.
Q. Will tomorrow be another day or will it be a little bit different based on it's the day before the final? What will you actually do tomorrow?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Everything will be the same. I'll come in and I'll just hit a few tennis balls, just get a feel for it, get a sweat going. Other than that, just relax, take a nap, get a massage. Really not much happening.
We've been at the casino a couple of times, won a couple hundred dollars. I'm on a plus so far. We may go in and play a couple hundred again, see how it goes (smiling).
Q. Sometimes they say 'third time lucky'. Do you believe in luck after what you've gone through in the last two weeks?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don't think I believe in luck. Obviously you have to sometimes be a little lucky. But I believe in preparation and effort. I believe if you really put everything into it, eventually things are going to go your way.
In the end of the day, no matter what happens on Saturday, all I know is that I've given it my best. Win or lose, I'm going to be very proud of my efforts these two weeks.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports