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February 11, 2019

Karolina Pliskova

Doha, Qatar

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Recently you played a great match against Halep. Here you might run into Bertens and I think into Kerber. How do you see this journey? You have been playing some great matches. Success seems to be a little bit tough on you.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, for sure, not an easy start of the year by playing so many good players already. It's only second month, and I have played I think four, five, six Grand Slam winners. But pleased with that that I have a good start, and I feel like I can build on these matches what I have played.

Obviously beating the players which were lower ranked behind me, it's always good. I have a lot of matches which I won in the first month, which is always good to start season like this.

Now coming from Fed Cup, also good two matches: one I won, one I lost, obviously, with Simona. But it's always tough, but I think it was a good match so I'm not that negative about that.

Yeah, now these two tournaments, Doha, Dubai, so hopefully I can play well here, too.

Q. Can you tell us about your schedule since you played Simona in the last 24 hours? What was your schedule like?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I left later yesterday, so I tried to make it to Vienna to make it here as fast as I can. So I made it, and I came this morning. So I just tried to sleep a little bit and I went to hit a little bit. Not much (smiling).

But I feel little tired today, but that's normal because the weekend was not only physically but mentally tough, too. That's always with Fed Cup. But, you know, I think I play Wednesday, so there is one more day tomorrow. So I think I will be ready.

Q. How many hours' sleep have you had since you played Simona?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Not much (smiling). You can see it? (Smiling.)

Q. What do you think, how long does it take to handle this defeat?

Q. The Fed Cup defeat.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Oh, for me it's gone already. So of course it's sad because we won so many times. Everybody expect it's going to continue like forever. But Romania, they had a great team, maybe better team than us.

We knew it was going to be tough. Simona was there, so we didn't count about doing some points against her. We thought we gonna win the doubles maybe because the ranking-wise we were the better team, but didn't happen. That's how it is.

But, for me, now Fed Cup is over and the tournament starts.

Q. Can I ask you about being World No. 1? Naomi Osaka became World No. 1 last month. In your experience, how difficult is it when you first become World No. 1? What are the extra pressures, extra expectations on you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, I felt strange the first, you know, match or two, but then I think you can get used to it as all the other feelings, like if you are top 10 first time. So everything takes obviously time.

I think she's gonna do well, because she won two Grand Slams in a row, so she can be confident enough and for sure she is. There is no reason why she should panic. I know how it's not gonna be easy, because in Japan, for sure, it's huge.

So it's going to always be tough in the beginning, the pressure, but I think she can do well. She proved that, you know, after US Open she still won a Grand Slam, so sometimes some players, they just hit some up-and-downs and they played well and then they lost few matches in a row. She didn't do that, so I think she's gonna be fine.

Q. But did you find that opponents, for example, they want to beat you even more because you're World No. 1?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Maybe, yes. And maybe it's like, you know, in the other hand if you play somebody who is World No. 1, you expect good tennis. But if you lose, you just take it a little bit differently than when you play somebody normal or some lower-ranked players.

So it's never a shame when you lose to a player like this. Maybe they try a little bit more and they play maybe a little bit more with the freedom against the top players, but it's not only my problem. I think against everybody who is seeded and who is a Grand Slam champion, everybody just tries to and has to play the best tennis. I think we all pretty much get used to it.

Q. Would you like to share your goals for this season, any specific target you might be chasing?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, not really. I have my goals, but it's no different compared to the last year. Just want to play well. So far I'm doing what I want, and I just did everything what I did in practice, so that's good. Still, it can happen that you lose to good players. I just lost two times so far and two times was Grand Slam winners, so if it continues like this, I'm happy.

Q. How do you look back at your 2018 season?

Q. Last season, 2018.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: You know, last season was tough. I had some up-and-downs. I had changes in the team a little bit, so for sure was not the best season but not the worst. I still finished top 10. I still made it to Singapore, which is always good effort.

I think it's always the goal in the beginning of the year, and it shows that the year was actually not that bad if you are in the top 8. And I made it again to the semifinal there. So I think the second part was for sure better than the first one. I had some good matches, too, good victories. I think I could do a little bit better but it wasn't bad.

Q. You won here in 2017. Should you go through again to the finals, you could be playing Simona again. Back to back, in a week, two big matches, does that play psychologically? And have you caught up with your sister now in Doha?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, to play Simona I have to win four more matches, so this is very far. So I'm not thinking about this at all. Obviously I won a title here, so there is some different feeling always in the tournament where you win the title, so you believe that you can do it again.

And I like these conditions here, so I don't see any reason why I should not play good tennis here. Obviously I had a lot of tennis in the past days, but I think if I survive the first couple days here, I'll be fine.

Yeah, we're playing doubles with Kristyna here, so thankful for the wildcard and the opportunity to play, because we don't get that many chances to play doubles together. We always enjoy, and if there is a chance, we just try to play. Obviously the schedule sometimes is not the same, and some tournaments I don't play doubles that much anymore, but it's gonna be fun, for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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