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January 5, 2019

Karolina Pliskova

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


6-3, 6-4

Q. Karolina, it was a pretty good performance out there. Can you talk a little bit about what you think you did particularly well to get that win?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, for sure the best so far, I think, in tournament. Of course, I played the best players so far also here, which always the level is better against better players, at least with me.

Yeah, but I think I served well, maybe not that many aces, but still, I think I had a lot of points on the first serve, which is always important, especially against her. She can also serve big sometimes. And I knew it's going to be tough because I saw her playing this week, and I think she fought the ball pretty well here this tournament. So I was expecting maybe even harder than it was.

But in the end I just had a lot of chances even to go double break up in both sets. I didn't make it. The end was a little bit shaky, but I managed to do it and to finish, but otherwise, I was happy with my movement today. I felt pretty good on the baseline. She can hit hard, but I managed to put a lot of balls back maybe more than she.

Q. What makes it so tricky in the end, to double fault on 40-30 or the next forehand?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, I got a little bit -- I wouldn't say really tight, but just too passive because I had so much points before. She played great shots. There was not many rallies. I just served or she missed. So just few like fast points. So I just got a little bit like passive, I think, with the legs as well. I was rushing maybe too much on my serve, because I had match points the game before, so I really quickly wanted to close the match, but finally, yeah, even on the break points I found some good shots and I was able to still hold my serve.

Q. At what point this week did you feel like -- I know that you came into the tournament not entirely sure because you hadn't played points as much and sets and stuff, but at what point did you kind of feel like you were happy with your game?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, actually, I felt fine in the practices, which is always, of course, different. But even in the matches where I've played I found good things. But there were also bad things or bad mistakes. But I was pretty positive about my performance here in all those matches. Of course, it was not without mistakes, not the best, but I felt like some things improved, and of course, I expect a little bit I'm going to play maybe not that great as I did because I didn't have matches and I didn't actually have that many sparring matches. So I didn't play that many points in the off season. So it was a little bit new for me this year. I've changed a few things in the off season. But so far I feel like every match -- the only match which I didn't like actually was against Ajla yesterday, which was very strange. But so far I feel like I'm improving a little bit match for match. There is always something what is, of course, working more, what is working less. Sometimes the serve is better. Sometimes you feel the game from the baseline better. But, yeah, so far I think I'm improving still.

Q. How much did playing yesterday the evening session, even if yesterday was so up and down on this court?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, it's also sometimes tough to change from the day conditions to the night conditions. So yesterday I just didn't feel good, even though I won two sets 6-1, 6-1. And of course I lost one 6-1. And I just didn't feel like I have control about myself. Only the serve was good. But today I just felt much better. I thought I just played good match.

Of course, she's not going to give you -- Donna, she can hit pretty big. She's not going to give you anything much for free, so I knew I have to play a little bit better than yesterday because yesterday was a lot about mistakes. So maybe the mindset was also better today. But for sure, the match yesterday gave me a lot of experience maybe on the court. I didn't play there for a few days, so a lot of different things.

Q. At least the last two matches Rennae hasn't come down. I don't know if she came down in the first two.

Q. At all?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No. I'm trying to manage alone.

Q. So that's intentional? Is that from you? Is that from her?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No. It's not really. And it's not also because there is Grand Slam coming, but I'm just trying to -- like if I would feel I really need help, I would call her maybe, but I just never felt like I really needed help, even though I was losing, but I just felt I knew exactly what I have to change or what I have to improve. Of course, sometimes it's better to hear that from somebody else. But I felt like I have control about everything I am doing. So if I improve a little bit here, then maybe the game is going to improve and it's going to get better, which did in all those matches. Only the first one I was not really feeling the best, and it was set and break down, which I already called. Yeah. So far now I won in two sets the second round, too. So I'm not saying it was an easy match, but I don't want to panic. I don't want to call when it's like no break. So I didn't see any reason to call.

Q. What's been Rennae's biggest message this week to you before the match to work on? Is there something that she's fine tuning at the moment?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: It's about other things, of course, because the main work I did already in my off season. But right now just try to focus on the match process, and it's about little things in the matches, just to move forward a little bit more, which she wants me always just to go more net, which I'm not still there as often as she would like to see. But it's improving, and to trust myself.

Like I said in the past, she's super positive and super confident, too. So it's not about like the confidence, and you know, we both know I can play well. So we're just trying to achieve that level.

Q. Is that sort of attitude different as a coach to have, like you said, it's almost like super confident. Is that a big change in your career, having someone like that in your corner?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, not really, but it's different because she played. So she feels confident, I think, because she played and she was in those situations. So that's right. But I think I always had super confident coaches. For sure they are more confident than me. (Laughs).

Q. What about having --
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: She's there watching me. (Laughs).

Q. She's everywhere. How about having an Australian coach in the Australian swing, does that help do you think?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don't feel any difference, actually, to be honest. Maybe, I don't know if we can get better courts with her, I'm not sure. But, yeah, I think I don't see any difference. I think people like her, for sure, because she's pretty famous here, about TV, about everything. And she's very friendly with everybody. But I don't see any plus with this.

Q. Did you watch at all the earlier match between Osaka and Tsurenko and were you surprised at all by the results?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I saw last two games. That's it. And maybe I try to watch a little bit more because I was sleeping. But I know both. I played Osaka. I thought she was going to win, honestly. But Osaka I played two weeks back in Tokyo. And then Tsurenko, of course, I played not for a longer time, but I saw her a few times playing, and I think there is nothing really what can surprise me, but very solid, and of course, she made it to the finals, so she's going to be feeling great, too. She won tough matches. She beat good players. So that's same as always, but I think it's going to be a lot about me.

Q. A couple of years ago I think it was Cornet that you played in the final here. What's the challenge of being sort of the favored or the higher ranked player like you're going to be tomorrow where Tsurenko can kind of swing for the fences and maybe the pressure is on you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Of course. But since I played the first match here, the pressure is always on me. But it's on one hand I think it's very positive because there is a player which cannot really hurt me or which cannot -- okay, she can still play amazing, but she's not going to ace me like four times in a game. So it's like on one hand I know I can only lose it by myself, which is positive, but on the other hand, of course it's a little bit bigger pressure.

But, you know, I've been in this situation many times, so I don't feel any pressure that I'm the seeded one that I have to win. But I just want to win. So whatever is going to work tomorrow for me and just do it, and hopefully I win.

Q. Karolina, is there anything good that comes from having to play with that pressure of being the one that's always expected to win?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I think I'm kind of the player which needs a little bit of the pressure because if I don't have it, I just don't try that much. So, of course, sometimes it can be a little bit like stressful or you can feel nervous that if you're not going to win they're going to talk about it and this stuff. But I think already I'm too old for thinking about others. And of course, I would be disappointed always if I lose to somebody who I shouldn't, but anyway, it's just a game, and I always try to do the best, and doesn't matter like if it's working and in the end I did my best and I tried the hardest, then I feel just good about myself. But I feel like I'm managing the pressure pretty well. But like I said, I am 26 already and close to 27.

Q. You're old.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah. I feel old. (Laughs).

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