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July 9, 2018

Daria Kasatkina

Wimbledon, London, England

D. KASATKINA/A. Van Uytvanck

6-7, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It got a little complicated after serving for the first set. Talk about how the first set ended and how you regrouped.
DARIA KASATKINA: It was tough. Very tough, yeah. I was losing all set long. Then I had the opportunity to close the set with my serve, but I didn't do it. Then I had set points on the tiebreak. But she went really good on the net, yeah.

She was fearless on the tiebreak. She really deserved to win it. But at the end I am happy that I closed the match and I was able to correct in the second set.

Q. Do you think an instance like that, in the past there have been times where you've lost sets like that, you kind of went down a lot, this time you kind of stopped yourself from getting too down?
DARIA KASATKINA: It's a tough question. After you're losing set like this, you're sitting on the chair, and all you are thinking about, especially when you have holidays after the Wimbledon. You're like, Okay, I will try.

Yeah, so, it's really tough to push yourself in these situations when you are losing sets like that. But at the end the big champions, that's how they're winning. They're pushing themselves in any situation. That's what I'm trying to do, too.

Q. You're playing against Kerber in the next round. You've done quite well against her in the past. Is there something in particular you like about that matchup?
DARIA KASATKINA: It's tough to say because she's playing quite unusual. She's hitting really low on her legs, playing flat. It's really tough to play against her on grass.

But I have this experience already from last week from Eastbourne, yeah. It's going to be fun, for sure, because I will go on one of the big courts in the world to play against one of the best players in the quarterfinal of Wimbledon. This is what I'm playing for.

Q. Do you expect to be on Centre?
DARIA KASATKINA: I hope so. I mean, she's the higher seeded left, so maybe. I will be happy.

Q. You made a backhand return, she was serving at 2-1, 40-30 in the second set. You were in trouble at that point. Do you remember that shot?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, the short cross-court.

Q. After you made that shot, did it change the way you felt about the match?
DARIA KASATKINA: Exactly during the match, I didn't think about it. But after I went out from the court and I remind myself about the shot. I'm like, Yeah, maybe that one make the difference.

But she made the same shot on 6-5, 30-15 on my serve. She played completely the same shot from the return. Just payback.

Q. How many shots can you remember?
DARIA KASATKINA: Almost everything.

Q. Almost everything?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah. I can remember the shot which was five years ago in this tournament in this court.

Q. Has it always been that way?
DARIA KASATKINA: I don't know. When you're doing this all your life, you just automatically coming to your head, especially when it's the moments like this, so important. It just stays in your head forever.

Q. You're one of the few players, female players, that mixes a lot with shots. Is it always a clear strategy or does it just happen by coincidence in that very second?
DARIA KASATKINA: It's just happening. We don't have much time to think. The ball is coming too fast, especially on grass. It's just half a second decision. When the ball is coming, you don't know what you're going to do with that. Just in the moment of the hit, you go, Okay, I'm going to do cross-court or backhand to there. That's it.

Only when the one lob is coming, you really can think about it, yeah. But 99% you don't think.

Q. How often did you see a tweener during a match?
DARIA KASATKINA: It's coming pretty often to my matches. But, you know, I love to do this kind of stuff. It's not, like, coming just from nowhere. When I was 12, we had a house, and there was a room without any furniture, so it was empty room. I saw somewhere the guy, I don't remember who, playing the shot. I just put in my head, Okay, I want to learn.

I tried in practice. No chance I put the ball in. I was missing everything. Every day, two hours per day, I come to this room, lobbing myself, playing tweener, lobbing myself, playing tweener. One and a half, two hours per day every day.

Yeah, sometimes I'm weird (laughter).

Q. This is an opportunity for you to introduce yourself to many new fans because the top-10 seeds are all out and several new players are advancing. How would you describe who you are as a person and a player to the fans who are just getting introduced to you?
DARIA KASATKINA: This is tough because I cannot see myself from the side. I'm just like an artist and I'm playing with the heart, yeah. This is me, for sure.

Q. How would you describe the way you play your game and what gives you confidence?
DARIA KASATKINA: My team is giving me confidence, for sure. Every time even I feel bad and I don't want to play, they always push me, they can find the right words, like, how to motivate me. I am really appreciate the job because every time they can find some words.

Q. Regarding the improvisation, are you like that off court as well? Do you go by your gut? Are you structured? Does your personality in real life match the way you play on court?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, for sure. On the court I seem different than I am in life. I'm completely crazy. Yeah, these things I can do it are ridiculous sometimes. My friends and my team know it. On the court I'm completely different person. So, yeah.

These shots and my decisions on the court sometimes can describe it.

Q. You feel it's a good expression of yourself?
DARIA KASATKINA: Of course. Of course. I mean, I am not boring in life and I'm not boring on the court. Together, it's connected.

Q. Your take on what you felt turned around. Did you do something that made it different or do you think she got passive?
DARIA KASATKINA: She was really amazing at the first set. But I was just trying to keep the strategy to push her to keep this level. If she would keep it, okay, bravo, you deserve to win. At the end she was not able to keep this level. As my coach said, she opened the door and I enter, so...

Yeah, this is how you can describe this match.

Q. You said you remember a lot about your matches. Second straight slam quarterfinal. What do you remember about the match with Sloane? What, if anything, will you do differently this time?
DARIA KASATKINA: That was tough because first quarterfinal in my life, playing on Philippe Chatrier against the very solid player, Sloane Stephens, very athletic. I cannot say that I was playing bad. She was playing really, really good. I was not stressed. I was okay. But she was just way better.

Tough to say what I could do better. I didn't even watch that match, I was so disappointed after, yeah. We didn't even spoke about this match with my team because I said, Like, I don't want to talk about it even. Cannot say anything.

I think it's just experience. I need more experience on these big stages.

Q. What's the most memorable piece of advice Philippe has given you during this tournament?
DARIA KASATKINA: This one, not a lot. He's pretty shy for the moment. Tired, too. He's only motivating me and making so much fun and so much crazy things, you cannot imagine what he's doing. For the moment, is the most important thing because it's already more than half a season we are playing. It's really tough.

I think the things I really need is someone who is making completely crazy things just to relieve the stress in your head. This is what I really need now. This is what he's doing.

Q. I have to ask about the T-shirt. Did you pick that yourself, given to you? Message behind it?

Q. The T-shirt you're wearing.
DARIA KASATKINA: This one? It's Nike.

Q. When you entered the room, we liked the shoes hanging.
DARIA KASATKINA: The T-shirt is unbelievable. I already said to Nike that they made such great job with the shoes. My friends ask me for this T-shirt. I have two. One I have to give to her. The T-shirt is incredible. I will keep it forever, I think. Very good job, guys.

Q. How would you describe your level of excitement about the opportunity that you have advancing to tomorrow here?
DARIA KASATKINA: It's less than at Roland Garros. At Roland Garros, I was extremely happy with my quarterfinal. I was so emotional.

Now I'm less emotional. This is what I call experience. You're getting used to these things. It's really good because I will go on the court tomorrow with the feeling that it's just the next match, it's not like something huge. I will be not that stressed, for sure.

Q. Does it help you at all in playing Angie, it's somebody you know quite well? It's almost easier to step out there and lock into match mode knowing you've played her so many times.
DARIA KASATKINA: To be honest, I like to play against top players. For me it's special thing. When I was small, I was always dreaming about playing the big players.

Yeah, I'm happy that I'm playing her in the quarters because it's Wimbledon. As I said already, it's Wimbledon, probably central court, yeah, against past runner-up, yeah. This is what I'm playing for. That's it.

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