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May 30, 2019

Monica Puig

Paris, France

M. PUIG/D. Kasatkina

6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please. I would like to.

Q. I would like to ask about your next opponent because have you seen who do you play?
MONICA PUIG: No. That's a funny thing. I don't really like to know until my coach tells me. So don't tell me. (Laughing.) I'm not ready yet. I want to enjoy what just happened. Just a warning for everybody, don't tell me. (Laughing.)

Q. So I wanted to ask about the match. You showed some incredible performance today. If you could describe what was the brightest side of your tennis today? What are you the most enjoyed on court today?
MONICA PUIG: I wish I wasn't so hot. That's the first thing. (Smiling.)

No, today I thought that I played really great tennis. You know, we've played each other on numerous occasions. It's been really close every single time. When we practice together it's always a battle as well.

I went into the match knowing it wouldn't be easy and that I had to really be on my toes and just be very aggressive and stay close to the baseline and attack when I could and just stay solid.

And today was just an overall really, really solid day for me, and I'm really proud of what I did.

Q. So I know that I shouldn't, so I won't tell you with who do you play in the next round, but I wanted to ask about the youngest generation of girls who are at the tour. What do you think about the youngsters, because like 15, 16, 17 years old girls are right now on tour, and what do you think about this generation?
MONICA PUIG: Yeah, it's amazing. And I think it's pretty common in tennis, you know, to have -- especially for women to have those, you know, girls that are just bursting on the scene at an early age.

We start very young, and we are very invested in our career, and we really take this seriously. So it doesn't surprise me to see so many girls coming in here and making a name for themselves. It says a lot about their maturity at such a young age and what they're believing in themselves to do.

I mean, you see Naomi at such a young age being world No. 1 and winning two Grand Slams. That in itself is impressive. And it gives me goosebumps even to talk about it because I know her, she's a great girl, and I'm so happy to see what she's doing.

I hope that the tour continues to have these young stars and they establish themselves in the future as some of these older players have done. You know, being at the top for many years in a row, winning numerous Grand Slams, and just establishing themselves as the best players in the world.

Q. So if you could compare yourself when you were, like, 16 or 17 years old and right now, what are the biggest differences mentally, if you could say?
MONICA PUIG: Yeah, I think when I was younger I felt less pressure than I do now because, you know, you come on the tour and nobody really knows who you are. So you can just swing freely and nobody really has a game plan against you, nobody really knows.

And then once you start getting older, you play against these girls time and time again, you see them at tournaments and on TV, so you start to get a feel of that and things start to get a little more interesting.

But there's always room for improvement and tennis is constantly changing every single year. You don't have these super hard hitters only. You have people who slice, people who hit the ball up. You have so many different variety of players that.

You know, it's just a different game than -- you know, it just becomes different once you get older. Somebody called me a veteran maybe two years ago, and I was like, what? I can't be a veteran. I'm only 23. But now I'm 25, almost 26, and I think I can start accepting that term now.

Q. Is there anything that you could say to your 17-year-old self, after those experience that you gain through the years? What would be some advice for yourself or you're happy how you progressed your career?
MONICA PUIG: Yeah, it's actually really interesting that you say that question because a few days ago -- I like to write in my diary every couple of days, and I wrote a letter to my younger self on experiences through life.

So, you know, I would tell myself to just enjoy the ride. You're only 17, 18, 19, whatever, one time. You know, you're only going to experience this life for so long.

And a tennis career, it might seem long to a lot of people. I've been playing professional tennis for a really long time now, and for a lot of people that might be, Wow, that's a long time, but for me it goes by in a blink of an eye.

So just to enjoy the ride, have fun. Don't put too much pressure on yourself because there's really no need. And to just work hard and trust in yourself and believe in yourself, because there's nobody out there who knows yourself better than you. And also to take care of yourself. Because if you don't, then it's going to be difficult.

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