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February 13, 2019

Karolina Pliskova

Doha, Qatar

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just curious what exactly is wrong and when you started feeling some symptoms and when you started feeling sick.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Actually, from the first day when I arrived, already the day after Fed Cup, I felt after I played my match with Simona, which was super long and tough, so I just felt somehow exhausting.

Yeah, from the first day I was not feeling great and not ready. I have never felt actually this way. It's normal that you are tired, of course, when you are traveling and playing a lot of matches. But I just feel somehow my body is not ready.

I had a temperature few days. I don't have any neck pain or something, but I just feel overall like super tired, and my muscles are just hurting from the morning without even doing anything. So I'm just not able to compete 100% today.

Q. Are these familiar symptoms? Have you felt like this before?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No. Actually, I didn't, but I know there is a lot of viral illness going on, not even here but also in Czech Republic and all Europe. Maybe there is something going on in my body, so I hope I don't just not going to get worse, so that's why I decide to withdraw.

Q. Do you think it would be better to play Fed Cup Friday/Saturday instead of Saturday/Sunday to give the players a better chance to recover for the next tournament?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Of course I think it would be better. Of course it's tough to say right now. Now I would maybe appreciate one more day for traveling and this, because then every time it's super hard to, you know, always find connections to the tournaments, especially here, it's not that close.

Yeah. But it's always my choice, so I don't have to play Fed Cup if I don't feel like to play, you know. So I think it's better if you want to play Doha/Dubai to don't play Fed Cup, because otherwise last year I was sick here, too, so I think it's just very tough scheduling by playing these weeks summer and winter and then you come here outside so the body not always has to take it.

Q. Maybe the ITF can change the schedules of Fed Cup?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I know the Davis Cup they did it. I know for sure everything is possible, but I don't know how many players, like if the players are fighting for this or not. I think it would help, but so far what I know the systems should be somehow changing from next year completely, so let's see.

Q. Just on that question of the Fed Cup, would you like to see it in the new format that the Davis Cup has?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don't really know and I don't follow -- I know there was this, you know, the first round and everybody then goes to the World Group. Maybe it's better to play less weeks. I don't know.

I always said like the Fed Cup it can help you or it can destroy you, because there is a lot of emotions and always like a lot of tough matches. Especially if you play in your country, then the pressure is huge. Just right now, I don't think like it really helped me, although the matches were great and the atmosphere too. I think if there is maybe less days or less weeks for us, then it would be better.

Q. You're the fifth player to withdraw from this tournament this week. Do you think the players should take more responsibility over these withdrawals? The tournament organizers obviously organize with big-star names such as yourself. People buy tickets to see players such as yourselves, and now they are turning up to see replacements. Do you think players, if they have any concerns or fears that they cannot play, should be more honest before a tournament?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: But I think everybody, so far everybody who withdraw was here. So I don't see any reason. I think they tried till the last moment, so I don't see any reason why somebody should be playing tournaments by being sick or by being injured.

It's a risk in the future tournaments or in the future career. I don't know which risk you want to put on us, but I think everybody pays fine if they withdraw. Maybe not once per year, but every time, if we do it more, then yes, so I think that's enough.

I don't know what else you want to do. If the players are sick, what can they do? Of course everybody was here, so I guess everybody wanted to compete. I came here, so I don't came here only just to see the tournament or to practice one day, but if it's not possible, it's not possible. I think you cannot do anything against this.

Q. Can you say when the player arrives at that decision about not wanting to play? I mean, is it on the day of the match, or do you feel like that leading up to it? And also, regarding your earlier answer about the Fed Cup, do you feel fewer weeks would help because of emotional investment playing for your country is so great as against, you know, maybe the physical?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don't know. I think it's personal, so I think somebody -- I just tried at the last moment. Even today I went on court. I just tried to hit full, at least 10, 15 minutes. I just said, This is not possible to play this level.

And my draw is tough, so I think if I'm not 100%, I cannot win any match here. That's why I decided to not play.

Also, I'm not the type of player which goes on court and retire after two games. So I said maybe it's better that somebody else plays. But, you know, it can be different every time. Depends how you feel. Maybe if you feel completely sick on Monday, then -- but I just tried to at least give few days more and maybe I feel better but I didn't, actually.

And about Fed Cup, this is maybe for a longer talks, because it can, like I said, it can destroy you, because to travel the day after when you play match three hours against Halep, it's not the best, for sure, not the best for my body, not the best for my career, not the best for this tournament, of course.

So if I can choose, I would of course take one more extra week in between these tournaments and Fed Cup, but that's how it is. I told you I don't have to play Fed Cup. I don't have to play here. So I can do my schedule by myself, you know.

But I was defending champion here last year, so I decided, like, this year I'm going to try again, because I like this tournament. Every time I try to come. But it's a question mark for the next years.

Q. The people who bought tickets today will see a Pliskova playing today because your sister is in as a lucky loser in your place. Were you surprised to hear about that? Did you speak to her before you withdrew?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, actually as there were two more players in front of her, so I didn't know they were not here, so she was still third on the list because she lost actually in the second round of qualifying, so I think this is not really usual that she gets in. Normally only the final rounds gets in.

I talked a little bit. I just saw her, just met her. She knew I'm not feeling great from the first day. But I never thought that she can get in because of me, but there was so many players which withdraw, so in the end, it end up like this, which is unlucky.

I think if she would sign yesterday, Kristyna, she would get in, because nobody really signed again. I think nobody was expecting that many withdrawals, so a lot of players get in.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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