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June 22, 2018

Magadelina Rybarikova

Birmingham, England

M. RYBARIKOVA/D. Jakupovic

6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How much would you say your steadiness and your patience helped you with the win today?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: Thank you. Well, that's a weird question because I don't think I was that amazing patience. I was having no troubles during my serve. I was having maybe 20-second games on my serve, especially in the second set. I don't know if it was patience or not. I think I chose with the coach a great tactic. If I give her a lot of rhythm, then that's the game that she likes, so that's why I was changing the rhythm. I was playing lot of slice. Be more patience, yes, in some moments, but when I had a ball to kill, I'd kill it. So I think I just played pretty good match today.

Q. It felt like she raised her level a bit in the last two games. How tough was it to close the match out?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: Yeah, she did, but think I was more offensive at the end. I didn't take my chances too much. I didn't put the first serve in in the last game. But I had 40-15 on her serve, so if I would make that game, then it would be done. But I didn't make the game obviously. At the end, I somehow made it, but in the last game, I was pretty tired on my side.

Q. Obviously you won your first title here as a 20-year-old. How big of a moment was that for you?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: It was a huge moment obviously because I remember Sharapova was here, Li Na was here that year. I would never say I could win this tournament. So, yeah, I was very young and kind of didn't know what to expect. It was my first final and I managed to win. It was a huge moment for my career and then I realized I had quite a good game for grass.

Q. You came back over the last couple years. What gave you the most satisfaction coming from way outside in the rankings to making the semifinals at Wimbledon or being consistently in the Top 30 over this year?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: Maybe the two surgeries helped. Maybe the seven months off helped me. To be honest, I was always the one struggling with the injuries. It was always I was maybe, during the year, two months, three months, not playing. It was kind of normal for me. I had a lot of stuff always kind of. Then I started take care much more of my body, maybe that change. But mentally also I realized I should enjoy more to be on the court and not to be so stressful, I guess, and be happy that I can be on the court and not to be injured. That's a huge thing. It's good to kind of remember that. I'm still kind of thinking about it because, you know, after one year kind of forget about it. But I shouldn't. It's really great for me. I'm pleased I can play and I can also play in such health.

Q. What was it you think you were doing badly that you were sort of on and off injured in your earlier days?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: Well, it's just the way your body is. I'm tall, thin, and that's doesn't help too much for sport. I know a few players, I mean, one player, she's not playing, but she told me she had a massage one time in one month and she has a Jacuzzi and that's it. That's her recovery. She was Top 20 player. She was around 30. I couldn't even listen to her. It was like it's something for me amazing. If I don't have every day treatment, I'm falling apart. So maybe it's little bit unlucky in that way that my body is not so strong. But, yeah, that's what I change. I'm really starting to take care much more. Maybe before I didn't that much. You know, maybe I did like the rest of the people, but I was a little bit more unlucky with the injuries.

Q. You talked about focusing on just enjoying being out on the court and playing regularly. Is that becoming harder now that you are playing good tennis and performing more consistently? Do you start to expect more of yourself or have you kept hold of that enjoyment?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: Well, I mean, it's always when you play someone who you should beat, like today for example, it's obviously different than to play someone like when I was going to play Pliskova or something. Just every day, nothing to lose, and now I was the favorite and was supposed to win this match even though she beat great players. She pass the qually. She did the quarterfinals in Nottingham. She beat Mertens. So she had a great form. It shouldn't be like that. It's not a shame that I would lose to her. So I was just kept saying myself to play, to stick with the plan and just play my game. That was working today pretty well. So it's never easy to be the favorite, but, you know, it's so many now players can beat Top 10 or Top 20 players, outside even Top 100. It's not a huge surprise. Shouldn't be so much nervous about it.

Q. But are there more players now you expect yourself to beat?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: Yeah, well, I mean, it depends. Some players maybe they are better ranked, but kind of feel you can beat them because you have a game for them. Others are lower ranked and you say it's a very tough opening for me or something. It's not always only about rankings, you know. They could be someone who is 60, 70, and I say I just don't like the way she plays. I'm not looking that much about rankings to be honest.

Q. So knowing that you're good on grass, how satisfying is it to reach the semifinals of a grass tournament when you know that's something that you're capable of?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: It's great. I think it's pretty good. I was a little bit disappointed from the first round in Nottingham, but I can now understood because I was very long on clay. I kind of played like I didn't adjust that quickly. Now I'm in again my game and now I feel very good on grass. So I'm very pleased. It's almost every year I have some good results on grass. I mean not obviously to be semifinals in a Grand Slam, but I was playing good tournaments. I always have some points on grass. So I really feel confident. It's my favorite tournaments. And for me it would be great if there would be more tournaments on grass, but obviously that cannot change. But it's just something about on grass. I really always looking forward to play tournaments on grass.

Q. We wish there were more grass, too. The men at Wimbledon get their seedings changed with the formula giving more weight to grass results so players who do well on grass get higher seeding at Wimbledon every year, they don't use that formula for the women. Do wish they did, because it would certainly benefit players like you who are at their best on grass?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: And they are not doing it for the women?

Q. Only for the men.
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: Oh, really? I thought they were do also for the women.

Q. No.
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: Well, maybe Serena maybe would be good because obviously nobody wants her in the first round. That would be kind of cool. Yeah, to be honest, this is not normally normal. We play tournaments like we stick with the rankings. So for me, if they would change it, they would change it, you know. This is not something that I would think about. If it's like that, okay, I accept it. If not, then it's not. But obviously it would be good if Serena would be seeded.

Q. Looking back in the last 12 months, because 12 months ago it was a different mindset with you coming back, have you been surprised by how the last 12 months have gone for you?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: Well, definitely, especially in the beginning when I was coming back, I was kind of pleased with the way I was playing. But it was small tournaments and I was doing step by step. And then I started to play bigger tournaments. Again, I was having good results. I was definitely surprised. I was surprised with the way I was managing to be on the court. I was pretty relaxed. And maybe it was easier because I didn't expect much from myself. I was coming from the injury so nobody expect anything. The biggest boost was obviously Wimbledon. It make so much. And then obviously the people expect or maybe I also was expecting a little bit more from me. I think I did quite well. Also after Wimbledon, I did quite good results. Also this year, I made fourth round of Australia, third round of Roland Garros which is my best result on clay. So obviously those will help when you are seeded. Before I wasn't seeded and I could play first round against really tough opponents, so that really also helps to be seeded to do more rounds in the Grand Slams. So, yeah, definitely I was surprised about it. I would like to continue in that way.

Q. How much do you enjoy this particular tournament? Is it a tournament you look forward to and what do you like once you're here?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: Definitely I do enjoy this tournament. Obviously this is one my favorite tournaments because I won it here and all my memories. It was different stadium, different club, but everything about here is nice. It's super easy. The players lounge is so big. You have all this space to lay around. You have sofa. These kinds of things are very good. The people are so nice here and the grass is very good. There is nothing I wouldn't like here. The hotel is great. I wish all the tournaments were like this because it makes for the players much easier.

Q. Are you where you would hope you would be? Do you at the start of the grass court season set yourself goals? Do you have an idea of where you want to be and how do you feel your game is now?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: I don't like to give myself some goals, where exactly I want to be. I just want to play good and just enjoy on the court. I'm already pretty satisfied with the results. We'll see how it's going to be the next match, but I think it's great to make the semifinals of such a big tournament and such a strong tournament. And I beat Top 10 player, and very dangerous player, Kristina. So it's really good results for me. And I think it's also good before Wimbledon for my confidence. So we'll see. I mean, I hope I gonna play my best game and enjoy on the court.

Q. Looks like you're going to play Barbora in the semifinals and both of you like playing on grass. Can you talk a little bit about what could be tricky in playing somebody else who likes to slice and dice and serve and volley and all that stuff.
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: Well, I think everything is tricky about Barbora because she is really very talented, extremely talented player. She knows what I know. It's little bit different. It's going to be someone similar to me. It's not going to be easy. I lost to her I think twice last year. So, yeah, it's going to be definitely tough match because she serves well. She returns well. She feels great on the grass. Very tricky player. Definitely going to be a very tough match. She played twice the final here. She feels very good here. I hope it's going to be entertaining for the people and for us maybe. Hopefully it's going to be a good match.

Q. Very serious question. We loved the turtle, but what happened to the duck?
MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA: I changed boyfriends. That's the honest answer (laughing).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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