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March 13, 2018

Daria Kasatkina

Indian Wells, California

D. KASATKINA/C. Wozniacki

6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's the second win over Caroline this year. What do you make of this one? How was it different than St. Petersburg.
DARIA KASATKINA: Well, quite different match, because one play indoor in St. Petersburg. Here we play outdoor.

Actually, I was not doing something special, which was different compared to the match in St. Petersburg.

Yeah, at the beginning was a little bit tough because I was warming up without the lights, and then it become dark and I was a bit lost, but at the end I found my rhythm.

Q. Caroline was saying that the court plays like a clay court and it's bouncing very high and that would have suited you. Do you agree?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, it's bouncing really high, so that's what I like, actually.

Yeah, I cannot complain.

Q. It seems when you're behind in the score now you always manage to come back. What do you attribute that to?
DARIA KASATKINA: I don't know. Actually, that moments I don't think about anything. I'm just playing, just trying to get back into the game, and sometimes it's going well (smiling).

Q. You have beaten all four reigning Grand Slam winners in the last year. What is it about playing the top 10 players that brings out the best in you?
DARIA KASATKINA: Didn't really think about it. I'm just going on court and actually now enjoying every minute during I'm playing.

And, yeah. Kind of I'm playing best matches against the best players. But as I say, if you want to be on the top, you have to beat the top players. So quite simple rule.

Q. Do you think you have improved and how much have you improved in terms of being a big match player, you know, when you play the big tournaments against the big players?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, you know, in the beginning it was really tough because I was really nervous going on the big stages, on the big courts against big players. But now with experience, with the time, I'm getting into it and it's -- I would say I'm getting pretty confidence in this level already. So we will see what's going to happen next.

Q. You were joking last time saying that your coach is famous now for his on-court... Is there any speech he's given you that's a favorite of yours?
DARIA KASATKINA: The speech, which was in Dubai, the most famous one, because --

Q. There is two in Dubai. Which one?
DARIA KASATKINA: The most famous. He's like, Let's stay two more hours here.

Actually, I stayed exactly two more hours on the court (smiling) after I say, Why you couldn't say one hour, one-and-a-half, at least. No, I was enjoying being on the court watching that tennis. I say, Good. Good job. (Smiling.)

Q. When you talk to Philippe after these sorts of wins, beating Wozniacki, beating Muguruza, Stephens, what is the message you get from him after these wins?
DARIA KASATKINA: Actually, he's just telling me, like, What are you waiting for from yourself? This is what he's telling me. Like, for him is not a surprise. Maybe actually for him is a surprise, but he's trying to stay strong and confidence coach, of course (smiling) (pounding table.)

Yeah. Actually, after we start to cooperate together and start to get more confidence in myself.

Q. Are you surprised that some of these wins have come so quickly and so close together, these big wins?
DARIA KASATKINA: Not -- how you say? I don't know. It's tough to say because, especially in Dubai, it was, like, in a row. And I was feeling that I'm just sleeping on the side of the court. Because at the same time -- I was playing at the same time, on the same court, with the same crowd. I was, like, okay, I'm here. Looks like I'm not even leaving this place.

I don't know. Not really surprised. It's going, like, I don't know, just like a wave, I have to say, yeah.

Q. You mentioned, working with your coach, that your confidence is growing. Is it just the match success or are you specifically working on mentality?
DARIA KASATKINA: It's everything together, of course, because, like, it's coming of course with the matches, with the playing tournaments, playing points and stuff, and also it's coming from the team, from the coach, what they are telling you and stuff.

So it's really tough to find right people which would be around you, like, I don't know, 300 days per year, 24 hours. It's tough to find your people, and I hope I found them.

Q. Why do you think they are working well for you now in terms of personality or style?
DARIA KASATKINA: Everything. I'm still young, so I have to work on everything.

Yeah, but now it's most important, it's mentality, of course. Because everybody is hitting the balls good. Everybody is running. Everybody is working like hell. So, yeah, the most important is everything what is in your head.

Q. Your coach was telling me that one of the -- obviously your record against big players is very impressive, but he was telling me that you need to also, when you're the higher-ranked player, you need to be able to bring that game. Is that something you feel you're doing better at?
DARIA KASATKINA: Oh, I hope so. Actually, I think it's more difficult to defend than to just, you know, going high.

So, yeah, we will see if -- the Charleston is coming. Yeah, it's not, like, tough times are coming. Of course it's part of the game and I'm enjoying it so. Just we will see how I will manage the situation.

Q. From the outside it looked like a chess game.
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah. Yeah, because me and Caroline, we are playing kind of tactic tennis. So, yeah, from the side -- actually, from my side it was like a chess game because we've got a bit time during the game, during the ball was flying, so you can, like, in one second to think where to put the ball, how to put the ball. So, yeah, you are right.

Q. My question is: How much of it is instinctive to you and how much is something that you have to think about, like, now I'm going to play a slice, now I'm going to play a topspin, crosscourt.
DARIA KASATKINA: As I say, you have less than half a second to make a decision. It's coming like this. You're not even thinking about it. Because when the ball is flying and you have time to think, then for sure you will mess up the ball. It's like 100%.

Better not to think and just before hit the ball you have to decide. That's it. Just, how to say, you have to believe your instinct.

Q. She said that you outsmarted her today. So during the match, was there a point where you felt it's mind games and I'm getting to her?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, of course. Tennis is a mind game, and today was especially this one. Because as I said, we were both playing more tactic tennis. Yeah, so there was a little bit time during the ball was flying. And in this half a second, you have to make your right decision. Yeah.

Q. You're going to be the top-ranked Russian on Monday. Any reaction to that? Have you thought about it?
DARIA KASATKINA: If you would not state it, I would not know it. For me, of course I'm happy that I'm No. 1 Russian. It's like something -- it's something special for me of course. But at the same time, it's not the main goal for me.

So I have higher goals. And I think this is just next step, which I achieved, and I will have to move forward and don't put a lot of attention on it.

Q. You have played your best tennis, it seems like, in very -- in environments you seem very relaxed in, so obviously at home in St. Petersburg or Moscow; Charleston is a very chilled out; Indian Wells, the California vibe is pretty laid back. Do you think there is something there?
DARIA KASATKINA: I don't know. I'm ready for the year on the tour. So for me almost every tournament already like home tournament. It's easier when you're already getting into the tournaments. You know what is where, the people, and stuff, crowd, and it's quite important, because you're coming, you know what to expect, and you just -- you're just enjoying being there.

And especially Indian Wells, it's one of my favorite tournaments. Not only mine. All the players say it's like fifth Grand Slam. So I think it's stupid going and not enjoying being here.

Q. Next up either Kerber or Garcia. Do you have any thoughts on either of those two opponents?
DARIA KASATKINA: Already quarterfinals. Not going to be easy, of course. Whoever on the other side, of course I will watch now the match. And I don't have any, like, sympatic who to play. So whoever. They are both very good players. They are both very good players. Yeah. I will just -- to beat both of them, I have to show my best tennis, and that's it.

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