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May 14, 2018

Karolina Pliskova

Rome, Italy


THE MODERATOR: Who wants to start us off?

Q. I know you're not historically the biggest fan of clay, but now you barely lose on it anymore. Is your attitude towards it changing this year, are you waking up with more of a smile than maybe before in previous clay seasons?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, a little bit more better than last year at this time because I was struggling a little bit with my form last year because I didn't have many matches on clay.

But this time I feel great, I have to say, with all my shots. I think the game has improved. My movement has improved. So everything is a little bit better.

And obviously, I think it's because I played, in the end last year, the semifinal in Paris. So it just gave me some confidence coming to this new season.

So I was like, last year, I wanted to play, actually, on clay.

But, yeah, so this time I just started much better than last year. And, obviously, if you start with a title, then you feel like much better in the beginning.

So it's just about the matches what you're playing. So, if you have a lot, then you feel confident. So, that's just how it is in tennis.

Right now I feel pretty good, I have to say.

But, yeah, to make one title and one semifinal on those two big tournament I think is good.

Q. People often talk about the uncomfortable aspect of clay for your game. But is there anything about clay that actually helps your game, may give you more time or whatever?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, for sure, it's the time. Because times I need some time for my shots just to, you know, push and be aggressive.

But I think I slide a little bit more this year. So just use the court a little bit more, a little bit better, with the angles. So if you really know how to move, I think it can help with the sliding.

So I think just everything a little bit better.

And still, I don't think it's that slow, these tournaments. Like Madrid, here Rome. So if the weather is nice, I think the balls are flying pretty a lot. So, it can be fast. I can hit some aces, even on clay. So I think if I really had a good serve, it can be like a point, doesn't matter if it's hard court or clay.

Q. You've been making a lot of aces on clay. Has your attitude towards your serve changed in the last two months? Are you focusing on it differently or strategizing differently on your serve?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: We just practice a bit more before we went to clay. Because I have weeks off there, so I was practicing couple of things.

But I feel like -- Well, look, I played Stuttgart so there I hit many aces. But it was indoors so the conditions were just perfect for my serve. And that's why there I hit a lot of aces.

Even now in Madrid, I think the conditions were pretty good for servers. I just tried to have the percentage a little bit higher on clay, and it worked out. I beat some good players in Madrid.

So, everything is just working little bit better on my serve than it was in the beginning of the year on the hard court tournaments.

Q. Talking about this a lot, jokingly at the beginning. Do you actually see yourself as one of the favorites in Rome or Paris? It feels pretty wide open. A lot of players who last year maybe didn't perform that well on clay. Now you, Petra, for example, you've played pretty well. Do you see yourself as a favorite maybe going to the next few weeks?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, for sure. I think there is a chance for everybody. So, I don't really want to put extra pressure or extra expectation on myself because I have every week a lot.

I think the field is big and there's a lot of good players, also in my draw. Because now, I don't know what's wrong with my part of the draw. But I always have like the toughest possible.

So, it's tough. You can have players which you don't like in the draws, so it's just a matter of things. But so far, I've been feeling good so there's no reason why I should not beat those players and why I should not be confident.

So I think everything is just working well. And, for sure, if I have a good week, there is a chance that I win this tournament. But right now, it's too early to talk about this.

Q. Talking about players who make things tough, this was the last match for Roberta Vinci. I think you played her three times. What are your memories of her and her game?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Did I beat her ever?

Q. I think you did, yeah, in Brisbane maybe?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Ah, Brisbane, yeah, that's true.

Yeah, for sure very tough opponent. I remember the matches what I lost. It were pretty tough against her to play. A lot of slices from the backhand. And just a little bit different game than the other players.

And I think when she was really on the top of the game, it was when she played the final in US Open. And then I played her in Asia, in China I think somewhere.

And she was very dangerous with the game what she's having. She doesn't look like, but she was dangerous and she can use the court. And she can just play great tennis.

And off court, I think she's very nice girl. Like all Italian, I think they are like funny, making jokes, and taking the life a little bit easier than maybe people from Czech Republic (laughter ).

But, yeah, so it's just sad. But I think she knows what she's doing and hopefully she's gonna enjoy the rest of the life without tennis.

Q. Do you remember your reaction when she beat Serena at the US Open?

Q. When she beat Serena.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No. And I didn't see the match. I know it's bad, because normally I see every match. But this one I don't remember.

Q. With Vinci retiring and players like you and Petra and Ostapenko doing well, do you feel there's a cluster of players dying away and disappearing from the tour?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I think it's tough to say because they can be tough for us to play. But these type of players, they can also really feel well. It can be much easier because they don't have that many weapons, as we have.

But it's normal that the generation is changing. So there are some new players coming, some young players coming. And everybody has a little bit different style.

So I think it's open for us, for the big hitters, even for the one who are running. So, you never know. Depends like on the shape, how you feel that day or that week. And I think there is a chance for every style of the game to win a tournament.

Q. What's it like playing doubles with Svetlana Kuznetsova?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I enjoyed so much, I have to say.

Q. You looked like you were having a very good time.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah. And I told her in the beginning, like just to let you know, I have the worst volley here. And she was like, Yeah, fine.

But I was quite missing them a lot. But she was not making any extra pressure on me. And she was just so nice to me, and I was really enjoying to be by her side.

I think we had fun. In the end, we played good and beat two good players. So, we were both happy with the win.

She wants to have some matches; I want to have some matches as a maybe like a practice. But this is the best way how you can spend your time on the court, by having fun and then, in the end, winning, you know.

So, I have to say it was one of my favorite doubles.

Q. You don't actually think your volleys are bad, do you?

Q. You don't actually think your volleys are bad, do you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, I think I'm better on the baseline than on the line. But in singles, I don't need to volley as much.

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