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September 4, 2018

Karolina Pliskova

New York, NY, USA

S. WILLIAMS/K. Pliskova

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Got off to a strong start. How important was that 3-1 game in the first set?

Q. Yes.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I had couple breakpoints. I think that was the biggest chance for the first set because double break, I would feel for sure less pressure after on my serves.

She was actually not great in the beginning, but I was also not great. It was a lot of mistakes from both sides. I was just a little bit better than she was.

Somehow I just couldn't find my rhythm at all in the first set, and she found it in the end of the first set, so that was the difference.

I felt like I played much better actually in the second set, but she was too strong on her serve obviously. I think almost my every breakpoint, putting all first serves there on big chances.

I felt like she was just playing better in the important moments today. For sure I could do better today.

Q. On the breakpoints, you had the three in that game, four in the second set as well, anything you think you could have done differently or is that just Serena and the serve?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, she hit all first serves on the breakpoints, which is always a little bit tougher to return. In the first set, for sure I could play much better because I guess the right side, the forehand side to the T. I just had the return on my racquet. I know I can make this one, for sure. I think two out of three I could have hit it much better. It was a first serve.

But anyway, I'm sure if I'm feeling much better, I can hit this return.

But the second set, she was just mixing the serve. She was going a lot of wide. Not much what I could do on the breakpoints.

Q. If she plays the way she played against you tonight with those serves, can she win the tournament?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, for sure, because she won it before. I felt like she was playing pretty good actually the beginning, but maybe she was a little bit nervous. I don't know. Just not play the best in the beginning. I know she can be off, she can do mistakes. She can also quickly be back in the match with couple games or couple shots. She can hit unbelievable shots. She can hit three aces in a game easily.

Also on the return I felt pretty pressure from her. She was just going into it guessing my serves right. She was covering my best serves I felt like very good. I feel like she has a big chance because the players which stayed, I feel like she can beat all them.

Q. Still a pretty good result after a tough summer. What positives do you take away from here?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: For sure positives. I mean, this was a tough matchup. I feel like I could do for sure better because I didn't felt great this night. It's quarters of Grand Slam, which is always good.

She's not a bad player. She's one of the best players in the world. Doesn't matter that she's No, what, 17 or 18 now. I think she's still the strongest. She's not going to give you anything. She's just going to ace you or play the best points on your chances. That's just how it is.

But pretty positive about those two weeks what I did here. I felt like I improved in quite lot of things. Obviously was enjoying my time on court, which is for me now the most important.

Q. It was tough for you for most of the match to get the forehand past her, hitting winners. Was that more because you were trying to play maybe with a little bit more margin? Were you not feeling the forehand or was that her defense?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Actually, I was not feeling even my backhand (smiling).

Yeah, somehow I just was not feeling great the ball on the racquet. It was first time for me this year on this court. I didn't get a practice there. I somehow couldn't just see the ball that clearly. Also warmup during day. I sometimes struggle with the night matches also. I don't know, I didn't feel nervous at all, but somehow I just didn't felt great the ball.

I know I have matches like this. I find the rhythm in the second set. But it was too late, and she actually found it, too. So yeah, but I felt like my shots were just not in the sweet spot. I was just framing quite a lot and not playing that fast as I would like to play.

Q. Are you proud of being the last top-10 player left both at Wimbledon and here or is it just weird that it happened in this round each time?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: It's not weird for me, and I'm not proud. I would love to go more far. Doesn't matter which players stayed for me. Always I want to be the one who is in the draw.

It's strong, so she's 17, but she's not a player which should be 17. There's a lot of different players which were top 10 before and they are not top 10 now. It's always the draw is very strong. I don't think there's any weak player left in the draw, so...

But just happy that I made the second week here.

Q. What are your thoughts about Serena's level before she had the baby and where she is now after her comeback?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I think it's pretty similar, I would say. She's playing almost a year now, so I don't feel any difference. She's playing with the same power. She can still serve well. I don't think there's any change with her game. She's just going for her shots.

I just think I played much better two years ago. It was actually pretty same, the beginning of the match she was just giving mistakes. I was able to hold the serve much better this time than that time, those two years ago. But I think maybe she's back on the level where she was.

Q. You're recently married. Could you see yourself having a child and coming back?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Not see myself having a child. For sure, not for the next four years. I don't want to say never. But for now I cannot imagine to travel with my baby.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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