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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITA├║


March 28, 2019


Karolina Pliskova


Miami, Florida

K. PLISKOVA/S. Halep

7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was that like, having so many stops and starts, especially being so close to finishing and having been playing so well before that last rain delay?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, of course I was kind of not sad but I wanted to finish, because I thought I got in some kind of zone for being 5-0, and she was not playing the best after, so I thought would be better to finish, because, you know, anything can happen. It's still tennis.

5-0 is a lot, but, yeah, but I think she played solid game on 5-1, and I just hold the level and finish it. But I think I played great the second set. Of course I think she could maybe do a little bit better. Maybe she was of course frustrated about the first set where it didn't really go her way. I played some good shots, and it turned after the break. But, yeah, that's how it is, and I'm happy with my level.

Q. After the first rain delay, you came out, you were facing double breakpoints, you double-faulted. I'm curious what your thoughts were at that point, because that seemed like a bit of bad luck to start like that. And how were you able to turn it around from 3-5?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would not call it bad luck, but I think I was somehow little bit pissed about myself, about -- you know, I broke her for 3-all. I didn't lose the serve, but I was 15-40, which with her it's incredible tough to hold the serve especially from this score. So I was just too negative and too frustrated, but actually the break, which we had, little bit helped me although I started with double fault.

And then I played a close game. Then I had a good hold. And I just believed. Because I had actually a lot of chances on her serve. I don't think she was serving that good. I was putting a lot of pressure on her second serve.

So I was confident, you know, to break maybe, that there's gonna be chance, and I got the chance. Of course the set point was a little bit lucky, but I fight for it.

Q. Talk about your matches with Ash so far, and what do you think you'll have to do well to beat her the way she's playing?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I can't remember any other than US Open. So I don't know. I think we played long time ago, but, yeah, so far this is the last one where we played.

Yeah, and I lost in Wuhan, I know (smiling). Now I think she has a completely different style than these girls which I played. So she's also trying to go for some winners. She has a slice backhand, she has a good serve, so she can move pretty well on the court, so she understands the game well, I think.

So it's going to be not only about me this time, which actually now a lot of matches were about me more. So I need to accept when she's playing well, and I know I can beat her. I played great in New York against her, so I try to repeat it.

Q. Serve played a big role in that match, you figure?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I need to serve well, but in every match I need to serve well. I think I have the better serve. You know, she has good serve, too. But I think we can both hold. So it's gonna be about maybe couple points, couple chances. I know last time we played or every time we played it was maybe one break each set or maybe some tiebreaks.

It's gonna be about, you know, small chances, but I still have to go for it. I have to serve well, play aggressive, and there's gonna be chance.

Q. You played that really great dropshot in the second set, and you played some really good defense, as well. I'm curious how much of that is kind of what you've been working on with Conchita and Rennae? And if so, how happy are you to finally start seeing that on the match court, especially against an opponent who has been so tough for you in the past?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, not really working on defense. You know, there are some points of course where you need to run and to get it, but it's not exactly a thing which I would be practicing.

Of course I'm trying to be running more. Maybe in the past there were some points and balls where I was just, you know, looking at the ball. So now I always try to at least make a step or at least a move. So that's positive.

Yeah, you know, with set points I was just ready to give everything, no matter how much I need to run. She always makes me run a lot, because she never plays same corner much more than two times. So I was ready to fight.

But this is not exactly what we are working -- of course I'm doing fitness, I'm doing all these kind of movements, so it got improved. I have been running a lot this week with all those girls and a lot of dropshots I made. So I think I'm ready for some running, for some defense, as well.

And of course the confidence, it helps so much. You know, when you win couple matches, then you just see the ball, you know, without even practicing or without even thinking about it. So I think it all is because of the matches.

Q. That willingness to take that extra step, you put that down to confidence?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, actually this is something what I wanted to improve, to don't give up on some points, to just try to run. But, you know, sometimes you just guess a side or you just get to the balls which maybe in the first round I didn't get. So it is a little bit, has something to do with confidence, for sure.

Q. How relieved are you to have a day off tomorrow, to not have to come back?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, yeah, it's nice because it's pretty late, and the day was long. At least I could spend half day in hotel, which was nice, so I didn't have to wait all day.

But, you know, actually she already finished maybe like 10 hours ago. It's nice that tomorrow is day off. I think it's fair enough. There is going to be a day match for me, first one in tournament. You know, I try to prepare, maybe hit a little bit earlier today -- tomorrow -- today. Yeah, we will see.

Q. I know that you practiced a lot with Simona as of late, especially this year, but do you think that helps at all? Do you feel like you've kind of come to understand her game a little bit more or have more confidence?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: No, actually, not really. Because mostly the practices, I'm still losing. And I was thinking maybe like I should not practice, because I don't -- you know, I don't see that it would be helping.

But it's a great hit always, Simona. I never gonna say no, because no matter how bad I play or how the practice is, I think she's always fighting, so she always makes you play some extra balls, which in the practice it's good always.

But I don't feel like I just, you know, I found some great plan to play her. I think you just have to feel great, because she has one plan, so she's running, she's making all the balls. If I miss too much, then there is no chance I'm going to beat her. I think with me everything has to work the serve, you know, like forehands, backhands, because if there is something which is not working, she's gonna find it and she's gonna go to that shot.

She just makes you play a lot of balls. I don't think I have great plan, but now I know, of course, it's my third victory, or at least it's not like I have just one, so I know I can beat her.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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