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January 10, 2019

Kiki Bertens

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

K. BERTENS/Y. Putintseva

6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Happy with that one, I assume, for your first semifinal win?
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, I think yesterday I was a bit lucky that GarbiƱe was not playing. But I think today was a good match for me. Yeah, I'm really happy to be in the semifinal here.

Q. How important is that leading into the Australian Open? I know you haven't played a semifinal leading into the Open before, so...
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, for me it's always really nice to play just a lot of matches to get in the rhythm. Yeah, I'm really happy with every match I can play before such a big event like Melbourne.

Q. I guess you're probably in your best spot, going into a Grand Slam season this year as opposed to any other year in your career, I guess?
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, no, really, I'm just like really happy to be back here in Australia. I'm really happy that I can play again in a Grand Slam next week. Yeah, hopefully we can make it even better than maybe last year.

Q. How much confidence do you take out of last year? Obviously it was such a good year.
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, a lot, I would say. I think before that I only had great results on clay. Last year I had great results like on every surface, so of course it gives you a big boost in your confidence (smiling).

Yeah, I'm just trying to enjoy it, trying to enjoy playing matches, getting into the rhythm, and just take every match as a new opportunity to play good.

Q. Ashe Barty next. You have played her before?
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, not great memories of that, but she's a great player. She plays really tricky. I think in Montreal I didn't play my best, so I'm really excited to play a good match tomorrow.

Q. What do you mean by "tricky"?
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, she uses the slice a lot, gets you out of the rhythm. You play to the forehand and then you get the heavy shot. I feel like she can do a lot with the ball.

Yeah, you just really have to play good, try to play aggressive but not too much. So try to stay in the rallies. That's what I have to do tomorrow.

Q. Is it a complication that she's the local, the Australian?
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, she will be the favorite I think on the court. Everyone will cheer for her. But I think that's only a good thing. It's great that here in Sydney that one of the girls is doing really well.

So, yeah, I'm just looking forward to a really nice match tomorrow.

Q. You played her in 2014. Can you remember that?
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, where was it?

Q. It was in Brisbane, actually.
KIKI BERTENS: Yeah, I know that one. It was the first tournament of year, of course. I have match points and then I lost, so that was not a great start of the year (smiling).

Last week, same happened to me. Yeah. But hopefully this time I can maybe beat her.

Q. She went and played cricket after that.

Q. Can you comment on how much she's developed since 2014?
KIKI BERTENS: I think a lot, I would say. Like before that of course she had already great results, especially in the doubles, and then she went away for a bit.

But I think only like that was a good decision to make for her. She's really relaxed now. If you see her and also going around, she's such a great girl. Yeah, I think it was good for her to step away a little bit.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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