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November 1, 2018

Julia Goerges

Zhuhai, China

J. GOERGES/E. Mertens

6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You played that second set as though it was a third set. It was incredibly intense between the both of you. The level was very, very high. Did you know you had to win in straight sets to qualify today?
JULIA GOERGES: Yes, I knew it. Actually, I was just saying to my coach, I'm down, but I'm not out.

I knew what I had to do today to win in straight sets. I knew it was up to me today to dictate the game. It's never easy when you know you have to play extremely well to beat someone in straight sets, especially here where only the best players in the world are.

I think it was a little bit unlucky for me in the beginning of the second set that I really had to run after that break. I always had my opportunities, but she came up with great shots on my break points.

I still somehow believed in my chances that I can turn it around, even though she served two aces in that 5-4 game. I was, Okay. Now we have to come up with some solutions.

But I'm obviously very, very happy that I made it at the end.

Q. Knowing that you have to win it in straight sets, how do you keep balance between you want to take control, but at the same time, you don't want to rush things, you still have to be patient?
JULIA GOERGES: Well, I think the most important thing is the approach what you have to what's your game plan. I know I have some time. I have to win the first set, first of all. I just tried to take it point by point and game by game. I think that's more important than forcing yourself to put too much pressure on yourself.

I said to myself at the same time, I want to have a great match today no matter what the outcome. I win in three sets, I win in two sets, or I lose. But give it your best. I think that's what you have to do.

Yeah, it also states for my year, it's my best year of my career so far. I think it doesn't really need to have a bad ending in this way of not giving your best effort. I think I put everything I had today in it. In the end, it paid off.

At the end, I played to win. That's how I've grown up. That's my mentality. If I miss, I miss, but it's up to me and not everyone else.

Q. You said earlier in an interview that you were expecting a similar season-ending search like last year, won a tournament before coming here and you have a good chance to defend your title. Do you feel that momentum burning inside already? Are you feeling the moment maybe at this stage of the season?
JULIA GOERGES: Honestly, I didn't feel the moment yesterday at all. But I gave myself an opportunity to stay alive in that group. That's the format you are playing, that you have two matches and you have a chance to advance even if you lose a match.

For me, I was, yeah, actually pretty down about my performance. I gave it all, but I wasn't very satisfied with how I felt the ball, how I created my shots.

I think it took a little bit of time to really think about what the game plan is for today and also set up your mentality a little bit, new and different today. I think the approach I had today for the match was completely different than yesterday. I learned out of yesterday and coming up with a great attitude and great performance today.

So you never know where it's coming from. Yesterday, I didn't feel like I could produce something today like this. But I think you always have more in your body and mind than you sometimes think of.

Q. So I guess you get a perfect gift for your birthday. Are you going to celebrate tonight with your team and how do you think of the number 30?
JULIA GOERGES: Well, it's tomorrow. I'm not 30 yet. Well, actually I don't feel like 30.

Well, I will do some nice dinner tomorrow with Daria Kasatkina and her team and my team together. We'll set up a nice dinner tomorrow. It's going to be nice.

It's going to be different. It's the second time for me, a birthday on a tournament. I think with my performance today, I gave myself the best present I could ask for tomorrow.

Well, I just enjoy it tomorrow and enjoy my life of getting older (smiling).

Q. Do you know you have a nickname, 'Gege,' among Chinese fans? Do you know the meaning of it and do you like it?
JULIA GOERGES: I don't know what it means, so I can't say if I like it. What does it mean?

Q. "The daughter of the king, princess."
JULIA GOERGES: That's interesting. I don't know if I like it, but it's cool I have a nickname in Chinese.

I think they do a terrific job of supporting me throughout all the Chinese tournaments. And I think it was Richard who brought it up, I don't know, eight years ago. They are growing every year, every year more. And I really appreciate that they come to every single Chinese tournament. I think it's crazy.

I think it gives a good atmosphere. I don't know if I want to be the opponent. I can just say I feel great with them and the effort and love they put in it. I think it's just very, very nice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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