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March 12, 2018

Daria Kasatkina

Indian Wells, California

D. KASATKINA/S. Stephens

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you remember of that last match in Charleston when you played Sloane? How do you feel that helped you today?
DARIA KASATKINA: Tough to say. I remember only the match point, which I had. Yeah.

I mean, I was watching yesterday her match, and we spoke with my coach. I didn't have any, like, special tactic. I was playing just with my instinct and that's it.

Q. What do you think the key was for you today?
DARIA KASATKINA: Fighting spirit, as always (smiling). Yeah. I was just -- actually, I was just reading the game pretty well today, moving, and really fighting for every ball. That's made the difference.

Q. What did you make of the match point you had today, then, the forehand passing shot?
DARIA KASATKINA: I just decided I don't want to run anymore. So, yeah, I just smashed the ball. And it was luck, actually.

Q. When you got the break in the second, what was your message to yourself? What were you thinking at that point?
DARIA KASATKINA: I was not thinking. The only moment I was thinking, it was 5-4 in the first set when I was 5-2 up, and then I lost two games in a row. That was only the moment I was thinking about what to change or what I was doing wrong. Actually, during the match I was not thinking about anything.

Q. Did it feel different coming to this tournament playing as well as you did in February? Did you feel noticeably more confident or calm this week?
DARIA KASATKINA: After Dubai, actually, I feel more confidence because I beat a few good players there. Of course, I come here not like with the expectation but with the confidence, really, in myself that I can do it. I can beat good players. I can go really far in the tournaments.

Q. Your style of play seems to be very different from the majority of the players in the circuit. Most of them rely on power. You are more crafty. Have you ever wondered if you should, I would say, bulk up, even if it's not probably the best expression? Have you ever thought you should be more powerful or you think you should stick to your guns and play that way?
DARIA KASATKINA: Actually, I start to play more powerful than I used to do before. Yeah, of course tennis is going the way that you have to play more powerful, more hitting the ball. But still I like to do some special things on the court, and I'm not going to refuse it.

So yeah. I will -- of course I have to maybe change, adapt to the level and the way everybody's playing now. But at the same time, I don't want to change my style of the game so much.

Q. How do you train to do that? What do you do in practice to -- if you can tell me. No?
DARIA KASATKINA: Nope (smiling). That's a secret.

Q. When we saw some of the coaching timeouts with Philippe in Dubai...
DARIA KASATKINA: Oh, he become so popular after. Famous guy.

Q. Very famous. But how are things so far? Obviously it's been four or five months now that you have been working with him.
DARIA KASATKINA: Great. Actually, the way he's on-court coaching, he's the same way in the life. We were having so much fun during the practice, off the court. Yeah, I'm pretty happy now. So that's it, actually. Yeah, nothing to say more.

Q. He seems to be very relaxed when he talks to you on the court, you know, calling you "my champ", things like that, kind of pumping you up.
DARIA KASATKINA: He seems but he's not. He's also very stressed, yeah, of course, and especially the moments in Dubai when I'm down and stuff.

I don't know. I ask him, like, how you are finding these kind of words to say. He say, I don't know. Just coming from my heart. That's it. So I'm, like, Okay.

Q. Caroline is up next. Talk a little bit about that.
DARIA KASATKINA: Of course another tough match. We used to play in St. Petersburg but it was indoor and completely different story. For sure it's going to be more difficult outdoor because she prefer to play outdoor, I guess.

Yeah, she won a Grand Slam, so she's a big champion. For sure it's going to be a tough match.

Q. Will you review her match today going into the next round?
DARIA KASATKINA: I was watching her match. Actually, I didn't know that I will play against Caroline. I was just watching -- there was two matches, Gavrilova and Wozniacki on the two screens, and I was watching both matches. I didn't really knew that I was going to play Wozniacki. But it was good I did, to watch this match a little bit (smiling). Yeah.

Q. Do you feel like you're getting a better sense as to how to play your game in these conditions on these courts? Because it's been tricky in the past, I think, for you.
DARIA KASATKINA: Actually, I like this kind of conditions when the ball is bouncing. Yeah, when it's hot, especially. So I feel pretty comfy here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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