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January 17, 2018

Caroline Wozniacki

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


3-6, 6-2, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What were you thinking at 5-1 down, she's serving for it?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, I was thinking at that point she still has to win four more balls to win this match, and don't make it easy for her.

At 5-1, 40-15, I felt like I was one foot out of the tournament. She served a great serve down the T, as well. It was just slightly out. I was kind of lucky.

Then I felt her tighten up just slightly. I thought to myself, You know what, at this point, make her win it, don't give it to her. When I managed to win it to 5-2, I said, Okay, I'm still alive. She still has four more balls to win in a row or in the game. I was like, Just try and stay aggressive.

That was that.

Q. Was this one of your best-ever comebacks?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, definitely. I'm very proud of the way I came back. It was definitely very difficult. Definitely wasn't my best match, especially in the beginning. It was very different conditions. I just tried to mentally stay focused, tried to play my game. It was very hard, and she was playing well.

All of a sudden seeing myself down, almost out of the tournament, I started playing better and started really playing the tennis that I wanted to play.

Q. What parts of her game were troubling for you, particularly in the third set?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I felt like the third set could have gone either way. I feel like I had opportunities in the first game and the second game. I kept being close and not closing out the games. She was getting a lot of balls back. Felt like I hit some good shots, and she would keep coming up with these great comebacks.

Yeah, all of a sudden I was down 5-1.

Q. The moment when you said your opponent started to tighten up, did you actually on court start to think about your level of experience?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: It wasn't so much that. I was more thinking about obviously she's about to beat the No. 2 player in the world. That's what I was thinking. Obviously she's about 100 in the world. That's a big moment for her.

I know how it feels whenever you're close to reaching something really big. I felt like I was going to get the opportunity maybe, if I got that point to 5-2. But obviously with 5-1, 40-15, she was still playing really well.

Yeah, once I got that back a little bit, I said, Okay, I got myself a lifeline at least a little bit. It's not just one mistake and you're out. I have a couple of balls here to give.

Q. What did you know about her before you walked on court?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, I'd done my research. Obviously I watched a little bit of video. I knew her forehand and her first serve was pretty good. I didn't expect her to be moving this well as she was. She got some great balls back. With that slice, balls where I thought, Okay, now I should be ahead, all of a sudden I found myself in defense. That was something that surprised me out there.

Q. At 1-2, you had the point where you had the challenge, ended up losing the game, how did that affect you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, obviously I would rather it be 2-2 than 1-3. You know, that's definitely a key point. Whether the umpire was right or not, I don't know. Obviously in my head I would have liked to have won that serve because I thought it was a late call. But maybe it wasn't. I don't know. I think it's easier from someone from the outside seeing that.

It's hard mentally being down 4-1 instead of 3-2. It kind of went from there. She also played really well. I have to give it to her.

Q. Where do you think your fighting spirit comes from? Do you think being around a lot of different sports has helped you?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Definitely. I think growing up in a sporty family where everyone is competitive and you hate to lose. If you lose a game to anyone in my family, you're going to hear about it for at least a week. That definitely helped me.

Growing up, I never wanted to lose, and the worst was to lose to my brother. Giving him the opportunity to be ahead, being able to talk shit to me - sorry for the word - was not pleasurable. So I think from that point, you just learn and fight. You don't give up, even if it's a board game, tennis, soccer, whatever it is.

I think it's definitely in the family, something that came from there.

Q. What kind of momentum do you come into this year with from how last year went?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I think momentum, if you keep playing, obviously you can keep momentum a little easier. I think obviously finishing off last year so well as I did, then I think I played some good tennis in Auckland, I was happy with that.

Here it's always different because one day you're playing and it's 20 degrees Celsius, the next day it's 30-something degrees, you're playing in the baking sun. It's a lot to adapt to, as well, for players. It's the same for everybody. It just brings a lot of different dimensions into the game.

I think I just need to be better prepared for my next match, no matter if I play during the day or at night. From match to match, it can feel a little bit like a different tournament.

Q. We've had grunting come up as another issue after last night's match. Is it something that players are talking about or if you have a particular view on the issue?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, honestly, I've been very busy today. I haven't really had time to talk to anyone (smiling).

I think we have a rule in place, hindrance rule. I think obviously it's the umpire's job to cut down on it. Also if the player feels that it's disturbing, to go up to the umpire and say so.

I think it's different if someone has the same grunt. We have some players that have the same grunt. That's one thing. You get used to it. It's not really a big deal. But it's different whenever the grunts change from ball to ball and point to point. That's when you start hearing more the sound.

I think it's the matter of the umpire to say, If you want to grunt, grunt, but there's also a limit to everything.

Q. Talk a little bit about the off-season. You got engaged. Was it a surprise? Were you expecting it?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Well, all I'll say is it was a surprise. It was amazing. Very happy. It was great. Everything went really well. Had the best off-season. We had a great time traveling a little bit, exploring some new places. Yeah, it's been a lot of fun.

I was really recharged when I finally got back on the court again. I was ready to practice and prepare for here.

Q. The mental aspect of the game, especially in such a situation when you were two breaks down, would you say the mental aspect at that point is more important than the physical aspect?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Of course. Obviously at that point you're almost out. But I think generally speaking, tennis is a very mental game. You can have the best forehand or the best backhand in the game, but it's all important how you figure out the shots, where to play the next point.

Also I think when you're feeling confident and you go for more and things go your way, sometimes if you're in a rough patch, it's tough to get out of it because players start doubting their abilities even though they're great players.

I think it's very mental. It's something that I think I've done well throughout my career to just try and keep playing one point at a time. It gets old, but that's really how I've tried to go through my career.

It's going to be ups and downs, rough patches, and everything. But I feel like if you really work hard, you stay focused on your own path, eventually it's going to turn.

Q. Talk about how off-court happiness impacts performance and approach.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, I think it's different from person to person obviously. For me, feeling happy, content off the court, everything is going great, helps me play better on the court. I don't have any worries. I just kind of do my thing. All I think about is the yellow ball, the net, and the lines. It just makes everything much simpler.

It's great to know I have that amazing support. It makes a huge difference to me.

Q. You were a guest at Serena's wedding. Talk about what that was like. Did you pick up any wedding tips?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, definitely. I think once you're engaged, you start looking at things. You're like, Oh, I really like that, we'll steal that inspiration for our own wedding.

We had a great time. Had a lot of fun. She looked beautiful. Little Olympia was beautiful, too. Really a special moment.

Q. Any Danish wedding traditions we should know about?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Honestly, if you ask about wedding traditions in general, I'm not the one to ask. I don't really know much. I'll have to do my research.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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