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January 5, 2019

Lesia Tsurenko

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


6-2, 6-4

Q. Lesia, on a scale of one to ten, how well do you think you played that match today?
LESIA TSURENKO: I think, first of all, I really enjoyed, and I think I was just feeling well there. I was just focused on every point and thinking about every shot like it's the most important one. So, yeah, I think I played well. I don't want to go to -- I don't want to say that this was my best tennis, but it was quite a high level.

Q. In the last game of the match you went almost to the net to close out. I wonder if it was something you prepared at the changeover, was that maybe to avoid the pressure?
LESIA TSURENKO: I think that happened because during my season preparation and also last year my goal was to change my game and to be more aggressive and to attack every ball and to go to the net when I have a chance. So I think that all worked, and I practiced a lot just attacking and going to the net. So I think that just worked in the right moment. And after the match the first thing that I said to my coach, I said, like I went three times to the net in the last game, and this feels good for me. It means that I am kind of achieving what I want to achieve.

Q. You made the US Open quarterfinals and now first premier final. What has been going for you? What do you think is the difference in your game the last few months?
LESIA TSURENKO: I hope that this is the fact that I play more offensive, and I feel better with my serve and that I am moving well. I feel more strong now so I can kind of handle every kind of pressure on court, even when someone like Naomi is playing really strong. So I can really stay there and I can be aggressive also. So I think that's the goal. And also, I just -- I really enjoy more playing now.

Q. Is there any special meaning for you getting into the Top-25 in this stage of your career?
LESIA TSURENKO: Of course this is something special for me. I never achieved this before. And my career wasn't like very smooth, and now I feel that it's just great that at some point I could get to this kind of mindset and set these kind of goals for myself. And I'm really excited to what I can achieve in the future.

Q. What are your goals for this year?

Q. What about the Australian Open? Have you set yourself a goal, a particular round or anything at the Australian Open?
LESIA TSURENKO: I will say quarterfinal.

Q. And just for the final, either Pliskova or Vekic. Can you just talk through what the challenges are for either of them?
LESIA TSURENKO: In same ways they play very similar, I would say. They like to take advantage with the serve. And I think that it will be a big challenge for me anyway, and also it's the first premier tournament final for me. So I'm sure I will be nervous a little bit, but it makes it even more exciting. I mean it's the first final of premier. That's what I wanted to achieve last year, but it didn't happen. So I'm really happy that in 2019 I went to the final at the first tournament that I played.

Q. You've never lost a tournament final on the tour level.

Q. Four and o. So what makes you such a good player on Sunday?
LESIA TSURENKO: It was a little bit different type of tournament, and premier events are -- you get higher ranked opponents at these tournaments. But, yeah, I hope to win all my finals, but let's see tomorrow. I don't know. Maybe I just -- I just really feel exciting and to play the final. I don't really -- I'm not really afraid to play the final. I just go there and I enjoy.

Q. You said you've been enjoying your tennis so much on the court, and I think you have an affinity or you really like Australia a lot, too. What do you like about this part of the season and coming down here?
LESIA TSURENKO: I'll be honest. Everyone who's asking me what is your favorite place in the world, I say, of course, for me, hometown. But I said always like it's Australia, because I just feel that this is a happy country. The people are very helpful. The people are very nice. And I like the weather, except the days when it's too hot. Of course, no one likes it. But in general, every city is so beautiful. The lifestyle of the people that I see here is just amazing. Everyone looks so relaxed. And this is exactly what I like about Australia. And I'm just -- for me it's always nice to come here 10 days before the tournament just to be here and to practice here. The atmosphere is really great.

Q. Have you gotten to do anything away from the tennis to enjoy Australia at all?
LESIA TSURENKO: Not really, no. Just I think for the last seven or eight years I am in Australia for the new year. Christmas is not really big celebration for us, and we have the Christmas from the 6th or 7th of January. So this is not like a big holiday for me. But the new year is always nice because we can see the huge fireworks and just having some nice dinner with ice cream or with friends is nice. And of course, a few times I went to the city in Brisbane, and in Melbourne you actually live inside of the centre of the city, in downtown. So even just to be here and to go for to have a nice breakfast, to have a nice coffee is always fun, really. I really like it.

Q. So tomorrow will you celebrate Christmas in a way?
LESIA TSURENKO: It's not a big celebration for us. For us the biggest one is the new year. And, yeah, in Ukraine we do some special dishes for Christmas, but that's it. It's just kind of almost like a normal dinner. The new year is huge. Yes.

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