home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 29, 2019

Lucie Safarova

Paris, France

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. You have been retired for about an hour and 20 minutes.
LUCIE SAFAROVA: It feels good. (Smiling.) Last time here sitting in front of you guys.

And, yeah, I mean, of course a lot of emotions, but mostly positive. I'm really happy about my career, how it was. And I have great memories to cherish, and it's very special that it's here in Paris.

Q. What was your hope and your aim for this tournament?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, we were supposed to play with Bethanie here, but unfortunately she's still injured with the knee. So she canceled, like, four days before start of the competition.

I was thinking if I should play or not. And then I found Dominika, which is a friend of mine, so I say, okay, let's enjoy. And we enjoyed today.

And for me it's really nice to be back here, to see everyone that I know for so many years from WTA and players and from the tournament here, the organizers. So it's just nice to see everyone and to say a proper bye.

Q. What are you going to miss the most in general, not just from Roland Garros, and what aren't you going to miss?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I'm not going to miss the traveling, the time zone change, and of course to work hard even if you're tired, even if you're a little bit injured. And I've been working really hard since I was little, so I won't miss that probably.

But of course I love the sport. Tennis is an amazing sport. And even after so many years, I still enjoy when I'm on the court. And I'm sure I will miss the competition a little bit.

But honestly, I've been through great results on great courts, played in front of great crowds, and it's been great. And it's been enough, and I'm really looking forward to starting a new chapter.

Q. My question is about your legacy. And 10, 15 years from now, we'll look back and see you won Grand Slams, you went to a singles Grand Slam final here at Roland Garros. How do you want fans and people to remember you?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I just wish they would remember me as a nice, fun player who they liked to watch. And, yeah, great results behind me. So just to be remembered as someone nice to watch.

Q. And have you thought about what you want to do in the immediate future?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, right now I'm going to take a vacation, a long vacation. And then I will see. I'm sure I will be back somehow in tennis, connected, because I really enjoy the sport.

I don't know what exactly I will do. I just want to do something else for a while and see what I want to do in the future. I leave it open. No time pressure right now.

Q. You spent most of your life traveling and seeing different cultures, speaking about yourself a lot. I'm curious how does that change you and make you as a person after so long?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I think -- yeah, I mean, it's definitely -- to be a tennis player and to travel so much and experience so much, it gives you a lot as a person, and I'm really happy that I could live through all of that.

And, yeah, I enjoyed experiencing different cultures and cities. As I said, I didn't enjoy to travel every single week.

But I think it's a great life, but I prefer to be more peaceful right now.

Q. What are the matches that are going to be most memorable to you when you're in your rocking chair being peaceful many years from now?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, it was that time -- (laughing).

I mean, there are many great matches. There were matches that hurt a lot, of course. You tend to remember those a little more for some reason.

But I will definitely remember the finals here in Paris against Serena. Winning each of the Grand Slam next to Bethanie. And special ones are, of course, Fed Cup because they're the only team competitions, and to win on a home court in front of that amazing, big crowd is very special. Olympics, again, completely different atmosphere. Winning a medal and standing there getting the medal on your neck, it's an amazing memory as well.

But there's been also matches that were not maybe so big, but, you know, turning it around from, like, losing and playing long matches. I remember I played against Maria Sharapova in Stuttgart, which I lost, like, after three hours and 20 minutes, and that hurt a lot. And so there are many of those.

And I like looking back at all of this. I cherish even those that I lost because I learned from them and then I was able to be better and achieve what I wanted, what were my dreams.

Q. Coming back from the illness and then making the comeback as you did, did that help your perspective on what tennis was when you sort of put in life versus the sport? How did that change for you?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, I had a little rocky road, I would say. It took me 12 years in my career to reach the top 10 that I always wanted to reach. And then when I finally reached my best ranking, which was five in the world, I got this sickness, which put me aside for almost half a year. And then I kind of lost track of, you know, when you're kind of on the wave.

And so it gives you a new perspective of life, definitely. You realize that the health is the most important in life and that without that nothing is possible. And suddenly, if you win or lose, it doesn't matter. So I definitely look at tennis from a different perspective after that and enjoyed more being out there.

Q. Two very simple questions.
LUCIE SAFAROVA: I like simple questions. They can be more than two. (Laughing.)

Q. What does make Bethanie so very, very special? And also if I could ask if you had to choose one decision in your career that was really important, what possibly was that?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, Bethanie is special. She's colorful. She's funny. She's crazy a little bit. So I think that I was always the more calm one there, and she was more the crazy one. So that made us kind of complement each other so well.

And it actually started as, I would say, a little bit lucky because she was coming back after a surgery, and I didn't have a partner for doubles at that time. So it was kind of lucky that we partner up. And ever since then, we had amazing run and amazing friendship.

So of course it was very sad for me when she canceled. But again, what is more important in life that our friendship stays, and we will do other things now outside of tennis.

Q. And the decision?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: And the decision, I think that every time I was choosing a coach, that was important decision in the career. And I have to say that all my coaches on the road always fulfilled -- like, moved me forward, so it was the right decision.

And it's something not easy for a tennis player to choose the right coach because, you know, you have to have the same vision and to move in the right direction. So that can be tricky.

Q. Was it a difficult decision for you to make or did it come easily? And did you make it alone or did you make it, like, consulting family and friends?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Well, it was not easy decision for sure, but it was a decision that I was thinking about for a longer time, maybe over a year or something.

And it came because of my sicknesses. Because, you know, starting all the time from zero after being away, it's really hard, especially in this time when the competition is so strong.

And so I started to feel like it doesn't make me as happy as it did before to, you know, travel so much and be on the circuit. So I decided slowly that it's the right time to stop. And I didn't want it to grind, to have bad memories from tennis. So I wanted to stop when I'm still happy to be here.

And, yeah, of course I consulted with all my friends and family. And for such a decision I think you need your close people to give you another perspective if the decision is right. And, yeah, that's how I made it.

Q. You mentioned that the competition is getting stronger all the time.

Q. This is probably one of the most open French Open draws we've seen in a long while. So who would be your pick to lift the title again?
LUCIE SAFAROVA: Who would be my pick? Well, as you say, it's really hard to pick now. I mean, I would say that Kiki Bertens is playing really well, and she could be upset of the tournament to win it. Of course Simona as well. And if Serena is playing well again, she's always a strong competitor.

So it's really hard. It's really hard to pick one. And I think that it's great that the competition is so strong. And we have, I think, at least 100 players now are amazing competitors. And you just have to be strong and play your 100% to be able to be here.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297