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July 10, 2018

Daria Kasatkina

Wimbledon, London, England

A. KERBER/D. Kasatkina

6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was Angelique doing well today that made it hard for you to play well?
DARIA KASATKINA: She was playing really amazing, even better than two weeks ago in the Eastbourne. I think it was really, really good match. We pushed our best. At the end she was better.

But I enjoy every second on the court.

Q. How did you feel this morning? Centre Court, kind of crazy. What were the emotions like?
DARIA KASATKINA: After my warmup, they asked me if I want to, like, just to check the Centre Court. They escort me to the Centre Court. I realize it was a good idea to check the atmosphere. If I would go on the Centre Court just before my match, for sure I would get stuck on the court.

But it's amazing. The atmosphere on the Centre Court of Wimbledon, in this beautiful corridor, all the stuff around, you really feel like you're part of this great event.

Q. You settled in and played great tennis. Do you feel like this is a nice step for you compared to your quarterfinals in Paris?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, completely. Of course, I was a bit nervous, but it's normal before every match. Is just adrenaline which helps you. Yeah, I was pretty happy with the situation with my nerves today. I was, yeah, okay.

Q. You had a great backhand. Is that your favorite shot from a young age?
DARIA KASATKINA: Absolutely, yeah. That's one of my weapons. I don't know how come, but I really feel the shot on any surface. I made a lot of winners. I can actually win the game with this shot. I don't know how, because this one I didn't practice for two hours per day in this room. I don't know. Just something I really feel.

Q. What went through your mind in the last game saving match point after match point?
DARIA KASATKINA: To be honest, nothing. My head was just empty. I didn't feel any pressure, any fear. I was just going on the next point and playing, playing, playing. I mean, almost every match point, it was something like crazy things I was doing, yeah. That's it. I think this is the key to win the big matches: just don't put anything in your head, to play with an empty head.

Q. What was the best shot you hit in that final game?
DARIA KASATKINA: Jumping dropshot backhand. Also the dropshot on the match point. It was amazing. I don't know what was going in my head. I think nothing. Just don't know why I decide to go for this one on match point, 6-5 in the second set, yeah.

Q. Was there anything you didn't like about your performance?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, of course, I lose. Sometimes I was going for too much. I was really rushing sometimes in the points where I should, like, stay more in the rally and wait for my chance, especially when I was playing with the wind. I was going for some crazy shots. So finish the rally earlier. This was the mistake.

Yeah, but, this is like really small points which are coming with experience.

Q. Do you feel today, the Centre Court crowd, people watching at home, did they see Daria Kasatkina tennis? Are you happy with what they saw?
DARIA KASATKINA: Absolutely. Today I show, like, everything what I can do, all my shots, emotions and stuff. Yes, I lose, but at the end I'm happy with my performance. I play first quarterfinal at Wimbledon. I won good matches. I beat good players. I shows I think not a bad level of the game today.

Yeah, I hope a lot of Wimbledons are in front of me. I will come just better and will show even more to the crowd.

Q. I think Kerber is maybe the top player you've played the most in your career.

Q. You played her on all the surfaces. Playing her on grass, what makes her different? Is she more dangerous on grass?
DARIA KASATKINA: I think we didn't play on clay.

Q. You haven't play on clay?
DARIA KASATKINA: No. Hard courts and grass.

Yeah, it's really tough to play against her on grass. Even my spin doesn't bounce that high. For her it's a bit easier because she likes really these balls. She's very strong on this. Even you're returning on the line, under her legs, she can go for a winner, it's crazy. That's why it's really hard to play against her on grass.

That's why she was playing finals here. She's already in the semifinals here. She's very tough opponent on the grass. She really feels this surface.

Q. Seemed like she was making a lot of traction with the off forehand, down-the-line forehand. What makes that a hard shot?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, forehand down the line is one of her favorite shots I guess. Especially it's tough because it's not really down the line, it even goes a little bit wide, out from you. You have to run for this. It's bounce very low, especially on the grass. Actually all her shots are bouncing low on the grass. That's why it's also very difficult to play, yeah.

I mean, from any shot, she can play anywhere: down the line, cross-court, just in the middle. That's why I really don't know where she going to play.

Q. Are you going to put the racquets down for a while, go on vacation?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, sure, for a few days.

Q. Anything specific?
DARIA KASATKINA: Specific? I will go with my friends somewhere. I think Spain, yeah, to have some fun, release my head. Because I already played around 50 matches this year. I'm pretty tired. I need some break before important U.S. series. I need some break now.

Q. When will you play next?
DARIA KASATKINA: Next I play Moscow River Cup. It's a new tournament in Russia on clay. From there I will go to Montreal, and all the tournaments after.

Q. How mentally fried were you at the start of the tournament?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, it was very tough, especially I was even worse at the Eastbourne. Every match I was just pushing, really pushing myself to fight, even I'm losing the set 4-1, set down.

Really important thing that I learn how to push myself, even you don't want to play, you don't want to be on the court. I realize really how the top players, how they think on the court, why they're winning the matches which you are watching, and you think, How she can win this match? At the end they do this.

I realize that you really have to just push yourself whatever happen to find the right words, the right punch during the match. This is important. Anybody can play when they have a good day, when they're happy to be on court. This is the point. You have to be able to compete even if are dead, you don't want to be there, you're on a (indiscernible) from the tennis. This is important.

Yeah, I really start to understand myself how to do this even I don't want to play tennis, how to push yourself to fight for every next point like it's the last point of your life.

Q. What does it tell you that you made a quarterfinal at Wimbledon on a fried brain?
DARIA KASATKINA: Means a lot because the first round was tough. I wasn't playing good. Second round was also really tough for me, especially mentally. I was going on the court and I didn't feel my best, for sure. But at the end I was pushing myself on the important points to play the way I should play. At the end the matches against Barty, the past matches, I was playing better and better.

This is for me the main point. Even I was not feel good, every match I was improving with the pushing myself. I think this is how all these big players in the past were winning the Grand Slams. Few years ago, Nadal was losing two sets down to Isner at Roland Garros. At the end he won his French Open. I think this is one of the best examples.

Q. Did you already talk with Philippe about this match?
DARIA KASATKINA: Actually I didn't see him yet. I have press, doping, so... Lot of things to do, I didn't see him yet. I think, yeah, we will talk just a little bit.

Q. What do you think he'll tell you?
DARIA KASATKINA: That he's proud of me. He's always telling me this.

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