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January 18, 2019

Caroline Wozniacki

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

M. SHARAPOVA/C. Wozniacki

6-4, 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Maria seemed to have a good game plan, like she kept pushing you wide with the backhand and then went for winners with the forehand. Were you surprised how solid and consistent she was?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: No, I wasn't. I was expecting that.

Q. It's obviously an incredibly tough third round. How did you feel about your performance?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: You know, I did my best out there. I was fighting till the end. You know, in my head I should have won that first set. Being up 4-1, I had a chance to do that, but I didn't, and then I fought back and won the second set. Then it was a close third set.

It just wasn't enough today. I did my best. I did all I could. Just came up short. That's sports sometimes.

Q. It felt like the match really turned on the long rallies of nine shots or more. Is that your view of it? And that's usually where you shine. How do you explain?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I'm not sure. You know, I think there was a period in kind of end of the first set and kind of beginning of the second where I kind of lost my rhythm a little bit, I feel like.

I feel like, you know, because she was either making a winner or making a mistake, and then I was waiting, and then I felt like I just lost my rhythm a little bit. But then I thought from the middle of kind of the second set, I feel like we both picked it up. And I think the third set we both played well.

You know, it was just a grind out there. Yeah, what can I say? I just came up short, and it is what it is, I guess.

Q. It's been a long time since your last meeting together. Quite a lot happened off the court since then. What's your relationship with her now and whether you've spoken with her off the court before this meeting, or is it friendly terms now?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I mean, I think our terms are the same as they have always been. I think she doesn't really talk to anybody and just, you know, has her team and has her own thing. And that's that.

I do my own thing. I have my friends, and that's that. I just, we are just playing, we are on tour. We are competitors. We both try our hardest when we're out there on court and fight our hardest.

Q. I also suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and I have been in quite a bit of pain today because of the wet and storming weather. Wondered how you felt today, whether it affected you at all, and what your pain levels were like?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I'm okay. I went out there and I was feeling fine. I feel good. I gave it everything I had today, and that was that. Definitely don't want to blame it on anything else.

You know, it was just, you know, she was just a little bit better than me today. And that was really it.

Q. Is coming to a Grand Slam as the defending champion, is this one of the hardest thing, now that you look at it that you have been faced with in your career, or maybe not?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don't know that it's the hardest thing. I actually didn't find it hard at all. I find it kind of pleasurable. It was nice and exciting, and I think it was great.

You know, in tennis, you're one on one, and you battle and you do your best. One day you win; some days you lose.

As long as you give it your all out there, as long as I fought for every point and was really trying to do everything in my power to win, I can't really blame myself for anything.

You know, I'm sitting here and, of course, I'm disappointed that I'm not through to the fourth round. I wish I was. But, you know, I can't be too hard on myself with what I got today. I did what I could.

Q. What did your dad say to you in the hall afterward?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: He just said, you know, Good fight. You did your best. You know, there is a couple of things that we can maybe do, so next time you can maybe get an edge on some things.

But other than that, you know, You've worked really hard and I'm really proud of you.

Q. I'm sure the scheduling for the rest of the tournament is not your biggest concern. There has been --

Q. There has been quite a lot of comments about Simona Halep and Venus Williams not being on Rod Laver tomorrow. Do you have any thoughts on that, whether the women's matches, kind of a bit strange not to see such big names on there, compared to some of the other games, and it feels like it wouldn't happen with the men's matches so much?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don't really know. It's hard for me to say something about it when I haven't seen the schedule. I don't know who is playing where. I'm sure they have a reasoning for it, but I don't know.

Obviously they're great players, and, you know, I think the luxury here is that you have three great big courts. You know, they're all not the same, obviously, but they're all big and good courts. It's not like you're being put somewhere outside and it's a completely different feel.

I don't really know about the scheduling. You're right. I probably won't be looking at the scheduling for the next week since I'm not on it.

Q. You know, in the past when you lost here, you didn't have a Grand Slam. You know, this year is very special, the defending champion. So is there a difference like, I'm sure it's sad both ways, but what do you take from it? Because you have your Grand Slam and you have been world No. 1.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Yeah, you know, I think it's a little bit of a different feeling, sitting here. But at the same time, you know, I'm a competitor. I love to win; I hate to lose. I hate losing more than I love winning. Obviously you're sitting here and you're a little sad. But, you know, that's what drives you. That's what drives me to try and be better and to improve and, you know, playing the best players in the world and trying to win the big tournaments.

That's why I'm here. That's what I want to do. You know, obviously it's a luxury for me to have achieved winning a slam and being No. 1 and winning a lot of other tournaments. It's a luxury to have that and not have to stress over that.

You know, I just try and enjoy being out there and competing and trying to play my best. That's what I enjoy doing.

Q. Would it matter to you whether you're playing after 3:00 p.m. or after 3:00 a.m.? Is there a time where it's just too late to expect athletes at even your level to put in a peak performance?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I don't know. I think sometimes matches run late. You know, that's -- playing long matches is kind of the beauty in tennis. You know, you see some of the epic matches that go long three sets or long five sets for the men. You know, I think it has history and it has charm. You know, sometimes you're just unlucky that you are behind some of those matches.

You know, I think it's equal for you and your opponent. You know, you're kind of on level playing fields when it comes to that. Obviously I would rather play a 7:00 p.m. match than a 3:00 a.m. match. But sometimes you have no control over it and you just have to go out there and play. That's kind of my mindset. I just play when I'm put on to play, and that's it.

Q. This might seem a strange question, but do you consider yourself a better player now, considering the depth in women's tennis, than what you were when you were actually world No. 1 in the world?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: I mean, if you ask me compared to last year or compared to six years ago, if you ask me compared to six years ago, I think definitely I'm a better player.

I think I have learned a lot. I think you get experience. You add to your game. Everyone kind of pushes each other, and when you're No. 1, you have to keep improving even with a faster pace, because you have a target on your back.

But if you ask me compared to last year, I think, yeah, you try and improve, but I think the difference is much smaller and you'll have, you know, a month where you may play better and a month where you may play a little worse. So it's kind of like you just keep trying to have the trajectory to keep improving and keep going this way (pointing upward) and that's kind of my thought behind that.

Q. Looking ahead, you mentioned last year that you were thinking possibly about not going back to Miami this time after the events of what happened last year. Have you had any further thoughts and made a decision on that?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: To be honest, I haven't thought about it yet. I have been focused on this tournament. But I haven't really thought about the future planning.

But I would lean more towards I'm playing than not playing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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