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March 18, 2018

Daria Kasatkina

Indian Wells, California

N. OSAKA/D. Kasatkina

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk us through the match and perhaps tell us how you were feeling on the court and what maybe didn't work for you today?
DARIA KASATKINA: Basically she was much better today than me, so she really deserved to win.

Yeah, of course I think we were both nervous at the beginning, because the biggest finals so far.

Yeah. But, during the match she was able to manage her nerves and stuff, and I was still a little bit tight during the match. So it is what it is.

Q. After the first set you called your coach on the court. What advice did you receive from your coach?
DARIA KASATKINA: You could hear it, no?

I mean, I already forgot what he told me. I was so nervous, that I really forgot.

Just kind of -- forget it. Sorry.

Q. This was your fourth career final and you won a big title before. I guess how different does it feel, this stage and this tournament?
DARIA KASATKINA: Compared to, for example, finals in Charleston, it was really close. But I don't know why in Charleston I was able to go on court and forget about these things, but today it was a different story.

I think with experience with matches I will get it, especially just at the beginning of the season a little bit further. Yeah, I think it will get better.

Q. How were you feeling physically out on the court? You had a day off. How were you feeling out there otherwise?
DARIA KASATKINA: Physically could be better, of course. I was pretty tired after the match against Venus on Friday.

Yeah, but anyway, I think physically I could do better, yeah.

Q. What was your strategies you prepared before the match? Maybe using many slices and topspins?
DARIA KASATKINA: I was using slices the whole week long and spin. I'm playing with the spin.

I didn't have some special strategy, because during whole week I didn't have, like, strategy. I was trying to play for myself.

But today was, yeah, a different story.

Q. You were just saying you were nervous. Is this the most nervous you have been during a match or before a match, and when was the last time you felt as nervous?
DARIA KASATKINA: Maybe, yeah. Especially before the match, I was pretty tight. Yeah, but it's normal. I have to get used to it.

Q. That was the first time you have obviously played her. So what impressed you about her game?
DARIA KASATKINA: Oh, she's very powerful. She's playing -- serving good, doesn't have weaknesses. She's hitting her forehand, backhand.

Yeah, so she's really tough.

Q. In your speech, you told people to hold on to their dreams. What prompted you to tell them to do that?
DARIA KASATKINA: Let's say I'm living by this sentence: Dream and do it. That's it.

Q. I guess, how do you deal with a loss like this? Do you think it will take you a few days or are you already taking the positives?
DARIA KASATKINA: I mean, I have already next tournament in Miami. Like, also a big one, so I have to really forget it. It's just another kind of experience, which I have to get used to, like, go from the finals, go to another tournament, forget about last week and just play.

Yeah, I have to just manage this thing.

Q. What are your tennis dreams?
DARIA KASATKINA: My tennis dreams? Already answered these questions 500 times (smiling). But I wish to win four Grand Slams and Olympic Games in one year.

Q. In one year?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah. As Steffi Graf did once.

I said, Dream and do it (smiling).

Q. In the two weeks, what are you most proud of? Fight? Technically how you did on court?
DARIA KASATKINA: A lot of things. I was holding this level of my game on the same level, like, almost all the matches.

Yeah, I beat very good players. And in the right moments I was doing the right decisions, so it means I'm growing as a player.

So this is the most important things for me.

Q. You just spoke about Naomi's game. In terms of her future, can she win all four of the slams and the Olympics? How high do you think she can go?
DARIA KASATKINA: Depends on her. I don't know (smiling).

I mean, of course she's playing really good. She just won mandatory tournament, so of course she got the potential. Everything else depends on her.

Q. Next week your ranking is going to be, like, 11 or something, get very close to top 10. How much are you excited about the ranking?
DARIA KASATKINA: Actually, I don't think much about the ranking. Because as I said already before, if you got level of the game, the ranking will come automatically.

So it doesn't really matter you are 10, 11, or 12. If you are playing on the high level, everything will come.

Q. If you look at your results from St. Petersburg, a final Dubai, and a final here, it seems you're improving match by match. How do you see this stretch of time and how significant it is to your progress?
DARIA KASATKINA: It's great. This is what I'm working for, to improving my game to play on the big stages against the big players. I'm happy that the hard work is paying off.

And we will see, of course, in the next tournaments how it will go, because I will try not to get happy with this final, because it's just, like, next step, and I have much more tournaments in front.

Q. You talked a bit about your team and thanking them on court. With the new ranking, even though maybe it doesn't matter so much to you, more attention is going to continue to come, and that's a good thing. How are they helping you with that and handling the attention?
DARIA KASATKINA: I have a joke, but I cannot say it, because it's so bad, from my coach. Actually, they are just making jokes. For example, if somebody recognize me somewhere, they'll -- I cannot say. It's so -- it's like it's double.

But, yeah, they are helping me with that. Sometimes they are protecting me when, for example, I need to, you know, be focused and don't put attention on these things. They are protecting me.

Then they are making jokes if I'm getting, like -- you know, I love to make pictures with the fans. I appreciate it so much. But sometimes you want to be, like, in the zone, and the people they are coming. And sometimes I understand they don't know these things that you want to -- like, you don't want to put attention on these things. And they are, like, bodyguards, like, No, she will not make picture.

Mostly, of course, I'm really very polite to the fans and I love them so much, because they love my game, they love me, but sometimes you have to give space to the player.

Q. Have you sorted out how you're going to head to Miami?
DARIA KASATKINA: How we get to Miami?

Q. Yeah.
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, we share the private jet with Naomi. (Hand sign - "Rock on.") First time in my life.

Q. Is that going to be awkward?
DARIA KASATKINA: I don't think so. I mean, it's going to be all right, I hope. I hope we will get to Miami, yeah, without any fights during the flight (smiling).

Q. Do you know the flight time?
DARIA KASATKINA: Very soon, actually. At 4:00. Yeah.

Q. Have you heard from Vesnina at all either before or now?

Q. Just about the match? Wishing you luck?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, she wished me luck, but nothing else. Maybe. I have to check.

(Checking phone.)

No. Nothing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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