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January 4, 2019

Donna Vekic

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

D. VEKIC/A. Sasnovich

6-2, 6-0

Q. Donna, congratulations. I guess how happy are you with the tennis that you've been able to play, not only today but just this week in general?
DONNA VEKIC: I'm really happy. I think today was probably one of the most perfect matches I've ever played in my career. Everything was going well for me. I was trying to be aggressive, trying to play my game and not give her time to be aggressive, because if she's on, she's on. Like I was watching her match against Svitolina, and I was like, oh, wow, that's going to be tough.

Q. In terms of the mindset going into this match, I mean what was it? How do you go from getting that big tough win against Kiki into this match where the stakes are higher, but maybe where an opponent that maybe you expect to beat?
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah. For sure I thought it was a good opportunity for me, but this morning I was trying not to think about it too much. I was just trying to have a good warmup, to be relaxed and try to be as relaxed as possible as I could during the match, and I thought it worked out pretty well.

Q. Is it pleasing, especially considering -- is it pleasing how you've played in this tournament so far considering that perhaps last year didn't go as you would have hoped?

Q. Here.
DONNA VEKIC: I didn't play here.

Q. Oh, sorry. Got my facts wrong. I mean it is a good start for the season just in general for you. You talked a little bit on the court about the work that you've put in in the off season. What did you feel like went well in that preseason that has allowed you then to have this good start this year?
DONNA VEKIC: No. I can't say that I was doing something wrong in the previous off seasons, so I don't really have the answer for that. But I really had a lot of time. I had six weeks. I worked a lot on my fitness, a lot on my tennis, both together. So it was really a lot of time. So I think I was really eager to get out there and play matches and be back to competitive tennis. I had enough of practice.

Q. Today it was match point your serve, especially in the first set and with the second serve in particular. We all knew that was a big weapon for you since the beginning of your career. And I wonder if you feel now that it is really becoming more effective for you and for your game?
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah. I think I have a pretty big serve, but it's just more like trying to get it more consistent now. I was missing a lot with the second serve today, which worked out really well, because if you just give her an easy ball, it's going to be a winner.

Q. Donna, I think I'm right in saying it. You're three or four years younger than Ajla. Did you have a lot or not much as all to do with her when she was in Croatia?
DONNA VEKIC: I was never really -- already at a young age she was practicing in America, so she didn't spend a lot of time in Croatia. But I know Ajla really well. I know her whole family really well. I really like her, and I think it's going to be a great match tonight.

Q. The last six months have been obviously very strong for you since Wimbledon. I'm curious, we've been watching you for a long time, and sometimes I think you've joked in the past that you feel like you've been on tour forever and you're just 22. How difficult was it to manage the expectations from when you're 16, 17 years old and you feel like now it's kind of all starting to happen?
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah. You see all these young girls now. I don't want to name any names, but they're winning. They're like, they have the hype. And I'm like, oh, you have no idea what's in store for you. You know, it's almost never happens that you just go like this. There's ups and downs in every career, every sport. Not only in sport, in life. And I think I've already gone through that, and to say I've already gone through that at 22 I think is pretty good. So I hope it's going to be a little bit more stable now.

Q. How different is your mentality as you approach your tennis now than let's say four years ago?
DONNA VEKIC: I think now I'm a little bit more calm, because I know that if I do the work off the court, maybe it won't come the first week, but it'll come in one month, two months or six months, but it's going to come, because if you do the right things and if you work hard, I don't think you can not play well.

Q. This is your second full year with Torben. You've been together for a year?

Q. Do you feel like a lot of what he's telling you is very process driven or now that you're in that second year, how do you feel like you two are working as a coach-player partnership?
DONNA VEKIC: Torben is a really positive guy, which really helps me a lot because I can really get hard on myself. So he's really helping with that. And just trying on develop my game even more, trying to be more aggressive, trying to come to the net a little bit more. So, yeah.

Q. Donna, have you been told to expect a night match tomorrow?

Q. Do you see any great differences there playing daytime to playing night tomorrow?
DONNA VEKIC: No. No. I don't think so, I really like the conditions here. I think the crowd is great, so great to see so many people out there. Makes me really happy, and look forward to playing tomorrow night.

Q. If it is Karolina, obviously you guys played in Tokyo.

Q. And she's playing well also. So can you kind of preview what to expect?
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah. She's a great player. We actually practiced the day before, our first matches, and she like killed me in practice. So I was like, great, thanks, you like killed my confidence before the tournament. And then the next day she was struggling a little bit in her first-round match, and I was like to Torben, how is this possible? So, yeah, she can play great, but obviously she can miss a little bit, so I've gotta try to play my game, try to get -- if she wins. We don't know that -- to be aggressive, to try to open up the point first.

Q. Do you like playing power players or do you prefer playing the runners, the counter punchers?
DONNA VEKIC: Depends. I think I'd almost prefer power players. But I also like to have time, so I don't know.

Q. Where did you mostly spend your preseason?
DONNA VEKIC: It was a mix between Geneva and Monaco.

Q. Do you still ice skate ever?
DONNA VEKIC: Ice skate?

Q. Yeah.
DONNA VEKIC: God, I haven't in a long time.

Q. But you did quite often as a kid?
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah. I did. Yeah. But it's a little bit too dangerous now.

Q. Did you jump when you were a kid?
DONNA VEKIC: No. No, no.

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