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September 6, 2018

Anastasija Sevastova

New York, NY, USA

S. WILLIAMS/A. Sevastova

6-3, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk about what you were up against tonight.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Well, it was tough for sure. I think I had chances also in the first set, also in the second. But, yeah, how the first set went, I think it affected me in the second a little bit. I shouldn't get broken twice in the first set. I had the game points on both these games.

But, yeah, she got a little bit lucky I think on some breaks in the first set. Then she started feeling better. When she's in front, it's tough to play.

She stayed focused in the second set. Yeah, I tried on her games, but she served well. I returned okay I think for my standards. But, okay, when somebody serves 123 miles-per-hour ace, not much you can do.

Q. Were you surprised how much she came to the net?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think she should come to the net, for sure. She's making more pressure coming to the net.

I don't know if I was surprised. Maybe, maybe not. But, again, she was serving well, and I was chipping sometimes the returns. You have to go to the net. She wanted to finish the point, yeah, be aggressive.

Q. How did you feel tonight playing your first slam semi?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think I started very well. I played good in the beginning. Also going through and losing the breaks, I shouldn't have lost, I think. That's what's disappointing. In the end, I was feeling, yeah, a little bit worse.

She was in front. Nothing you can do. Again, some stupid games from me that I lost, yeah.

Q. Errors or...
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think so many games I was in front in my service game. Somehow they slipped away. Like, when she returns well, you have her under pressure. Then she returns again, playing some winners. Somehow it's 40-All or 30-All, but you were in front. So it's tough.

Again, she had better statistics I think, better than me, more winners, less mistakes. So she deserves it, yeah.

Q. First time playing her?

Q. What is it like to play Serena Williams? She's obviously some think the greatest of all time. You are a great athlete yourself. Is her force different than playing another opponent or someone that's just very, very, very good?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think she played very good today. She has an amazing serve. It's tough to return. She makes so much pressure on the first, second ball, it's tough for me.

But I moved well. I got in the game actually pretty well. I knew what to expect, yeah. I was ready. But somehow maybe I started playing a little bit worse and worse. But she was getting better.

Q. She's ranked outside the top 20. Do you think she's the best player in the world right now?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: It's tough to say. I mean, she played finals in Wimbledon. She's playing finals here. Obviously I think this year is not bad for her.

But, yeah, she has 23 Grand Slams. So you have your answer, I think. She's one of the best, yeah.

Q. You were having some success with dropshots, then coming up short. Was that frustrating at all?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think I was standing too far behind when I was playing them. It didn't work that well today, the dropshots. But the game was so fast.

I think it was also tough with sound. I mean, it was very loud. She had also problems in the beginning, like hearing the ball. Also, like, the referees, line umpires, sometimes they didn't call out, but the ball was that much out. I think the sound, it was a little bit hard in the beginning.

Again, when she's playing so fast, it's tough to play dropshot or change. Slice is better.

Q. Do you think the closed roof had any effect at all?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don't want that it's raining inside (smiling).

Maybe, maybe not. It's not that windy when the roof is open here, so I don't think it's that much. But, of course, it's easier to play when the roof is closed, yeah. It was not that humid. The conditions were okay. But the weather was not good, so it's okay that they closed the roof.

Q. Do you think going into Asia you'll feel any different being a Grand Slam semifinalist than a quarterfinalist?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Asia is different. We'll see. I want to take some days off. I feel my body a little bit. I'm tired. Here and there it hurts.

We'll see. It's Asia. You never know what's coming there (smiling).

But again, I will be better prepared than last years. I am confident. I play good. We will see how it is in Wuhan, Tokyo, Beijing, yeah. It's three weeks long, three long weeks.

Q. Positive takeaways from this tournament?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, that I can play with the best players in the world. I beat two top-10 players. I was playing okay match today, maybe not my best tennis, but still... I had my chances in the first set.

Yeah, just knowing that I can be there, that I'm first time semifinals. Yeah, I need couple of days to let it sink in. Maybe I'm more confident now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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