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May 28, 2018

Jessika Ponchet

Paris, France

L. SAFAROVA/J. Ponchet

6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. What's your feeling after this match?
JESSIKA PONCHET: Great frustration. Really great frustration, because I thought I still had a chance and I started both sets very badly, and this really pulled me down, especially in the second set. Therefore, I'm very frustrated.

Q. Why did you start off that badly on both sets?
JESSIKA PONCHET: It's the first time I'm in the big draw, so I'm a bit tense. And it's very different to play in France from any other countries. I was tense. I made a lot of errors on my returns, and this was what dragged me down. If that hadn't happened I could have won the first set.

Q. The fact that she's left-handed, was it a problem?
JESSIKA PONCHET: No, actually I train with my younger brother who is also left-handed and I play quite a few left-handed players.

But this time I really had a problem with my returns. In the past four days I was very good in my returns, and in the match I wasn't able to do what I should have. So it's very frustrating.

Q. You saved six match points.
JESSIKA PONCHET: Well, you have to try hard up until the last point. So that's what I had to do. It was raining, and we continued to play. It could have been interrupted. I could have spoken to my trainer, and I would have asked him what to do.

Q. The fact that she won the first set gave her a lot of confidence and upset you?
JESSIKA PONCHET: Yes. You always need a time to adjust, and I did have a chance and I lost it and she was really confident. She played here. She had very good results. Once you're confident, you start really hammering your serves in.

Q. Because your score, don't you feel that you should have released your shots earlier?
JESSIKA PONCHET: Well, I think that what really worked against me were my bad returns, because even if I have a good serve, if I'm not good at returning, it's definitely what was the problem for me today.

Q. What lessons would you draw from this experience?
JESSIKA PONCHET: I'm still so happy to have come. It wasn't an easy match. Although my opponent is in confidence and plays very well, but I hope this will help me for the future and be useful.

Q. What do you learn? Last year you were on the qualifying round. So what do you learn with regard to the quallies?
JESSIKA PONCHET: Well, I think that there is a big change between quallies and draw. The atmosphere is completely different. I saw it in Australia. The atmosphere is totally different. I think that you really are out there to win, and you're really wrestling hard.

I think I could have broken and come back into the match, but it's true that I worked well and I won good matches on people who are ranked 50th or 70th in the world ranking.

So I think I can manage something. But I have to feel more comfortable to play these types of girls. So I think I'll need more matches.

Q. Also managing the atmosphere and your emotions, coping with the public and the pressure?
JESSIKA PONCHET: Yes, yes, absolutely. And being in France, I think that that's what I was missing. She has a lot of experience on the important points, and I think that that's what I was lacking.

Q. It's a wonderful season with a great progression for you all the same?
JESSIKA PONCHET: Yes. I progress very well. I managed to win one of the first top 100. I still have to move up the ranks, and I hope it will continue.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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