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May 31, 2019
A. SEVASTOVA/E. Mertens
6-7, 6-4, 11-9
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.
Q. That was incredible. My first question would be: What can you tell us about any of the match points you saved? Which one sticks out in your mind?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I just remember this backhand long line, okay, forehand inside out, this winner also, and one drop shot. Other two, I don't remember. But yeah, tough.
Q. But do you remember what you were kind of thinking in your mindset? Because you were so aggressive on them and it seemed like you were just like, I'm going to save it.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I wasn't aggressive before so I had to be aggressive. Yeah, I had to play my game. I was not thinking to lose. I was thinking to win. So I had to do something, yeah.
Q. The draw is kind of wide open. I mean, you always have an opportunity, but do you feel there's a real opportunity here now?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I mean, everybody can play tennis here. And there are so many young girls up and coming and, yeah, maybe they're not seeded but they play great on clay, like Martic. I mean, I think she was seeded, but she won today. And Vondrousova, she had a great season.
Yeah, it's still a tough draw either way.
Q. You said on court that might have been the longest match you ever played at 3:18. Do you know if that's true and did you learn anything about yourself and your mental toughness?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don't know if that's the longest. Probably. I didn't check statistics. I'm not going to, like, look for them.
But, yeah, staying tough in the match points, fighting. She was fighting unbelievably. Like, all credit to her. She was playing -- getting all the balls running. She was tired also.
Yeah, I was feeling fine physically. And, yeah, it helped me and, yeah, playing aggressive. Tried to -- like, in the beginning it didn't work, but in the third set I was, like, more in the flow and played better. Yeah. We both played better in the third set.
Q. I think it was early in the third set or in the middle of it you missed a swinging volley.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah.
Q. And then there was a very similar point later on.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I didn't miss it.
Q. And you went for it again.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I learned something. (Smiling.)
Yeah, I have to play more swinging volleys. I have to go to the net more often and be aggressive because she played so many highs balls and, like, covering so much court. To finish it faster, the point, it will be easier for me for sure.
But, yeah, I learned that -- at least I learned this forward swinging volley and I made it.
Q. And a few more afterwards.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: A few more?
Q. I think so.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Maybe two.
Q. Your coach is an Austrian. Just want to know how -- Thomas Muster is already advising you, he told me one year ago.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: He's advising Ronnie.
Q. Can you explain a little bit about the relationship at the moment with him?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don't have that much of a relationship with him. He has a wife (laughing).
But they are talking on the phone. They're good friends, I think. So, yeah, he's advising my coach and talk sometimes.
Q. But not directly with you? Talking with you?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Sometimes with me, yeah. But I'm scared of him. No. (Smiling).
He talks to Ronnie. It's not like he has so much free time; he has other things to do, too.
Q. The importance of him, can you explain it a little bit? Is he at least important for you?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: For sure, he's a great, he's like an idol. He's a great competitor. He won here and I think he has some good advice and it's good to have this person like behind your back, yeah.
Q. What advice would be very important for you from him?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: You have to ask him, not me. It's a secret.
Q. He wouldn't talk about it either.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah. It stays between us, yeah.
Q. You mentioned about that drive volley and about maybe wanting to come to the net before. But you seemed content, your forehand was great and very accurate. Was that the reason you didn't come in because you felt more comfortable hitting forehands corner to corner?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, I felt comfortable hitting them, but it's tough when you don't maybe practice it too much, and you just don't feel comfortable going to the net, especially like it's 7-All or I don't know, 7-8. It's not like the first thing you will do is just run to the net, yeah?
But at some point I did maybe once. It was also important point. And, yeah, I have to, for sure I have to do it more often, yeah. Then I will be more comfortable doing it.
Q. You also played some amazing drop shots throughout. Do you love playing drop shots?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, I love playing drop shots, but she got almost all of them. Yeah, she was getting tough drop shots, and she played them back also unbelievable, yeah. So she has hands for that.
Q. How did you learn to love drop shots then?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don't know. Who doesn't love drop shots? (Smiling.)
I think it's a good game on clay. You can mix it up, change it. So, yeah, practice a little bit them and try to play.
Q. What did you tell yourself on the match point?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I didn't tell myself anything. I said just, Yeah, move your legs and try to hit first serve and play aggressive.
Q. Because you saved them with all winners.
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Almost all. I think one was not winner.
Q. You said she got a lot of balls back. Did she at a certain time drive you crazy with her defense?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: No, but I had to play aggressive. She fell back a little bit, I think, in the third set. She didn't play that aggressive. It paid off for me. But still she was getting all the balls. For sure it's tough to play her.
Q. I wonder if you could sum up one thing that made the difference that put you over the top in this match, what would you say it was?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think this aggressive play, probably it paid off. And, yes, staying just tough. It's not easy when you're always, like, 4-5 down, 5-6 down. It can go either way.
In the end, we both didn't deserve to lose, I think. And, yeah, you saw some lines. And in the end you think, yeah, was she a worser player? No. Yeah. It just a millimeter. It doesn't make you better or worse player.
In the end, it's a bit of luck. A bit of -- yeah, it paid off. Maybe next match it doesn't pay off, but you have to go, and I went for it.
Q. You had some physical problems at the beginning of the clay season. What were they?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: My back and my hip. My back was really tight, inflamed, facets and everything. And I had some injections and now it's much better, yeah.
Q. You started back in Austria. You lived in Vienna. How is your relationship with Austria? Like a home country a little bit?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: No. I speak German. (Smiling.) I like Austria. I speak Austrian also, a little bit. But, yeah, I like Austria. My boyfriend lives there. So we enjoy time there, but I also like Latvia. So it's kind of two countries, yeah.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports