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June 17, 2019

Su-Wei Hsieh

Birmingham, England

S. HSIEH/A. Sabalenka

6-3, 2-6, 7-6

Q. How was it dealing with somebody who hits as hard as she does? How did you try to counter that?
SU-WEI HSIEH: It was not easy because it's my first match on the grass court. I know it was going to be really tough. So I would just get ready for anything happen on the court.

Q. Do you prefer to play players who hit very hard or players who give you more time?
SU-WEI HSIEH: It doesn't matter for me. I think what is most important is what am I thinking what I'm going to do on the court.

Q. How did you keep control of the match? It was really tight in the last set. You came back from a break down and then you got the tie-break. How did you keep control of the match there?
SU-WEI HSIEH: It was not easy because around 3-All I was serving and then the ball was in or out, whatever, but the linesman was not calling the ball and Aryna she sliced and she put her finger up, so I was waiting for the challenge and then the chair umpire just give the point to the opponent.

For me, I was thinking this is unusual because normally it's challenged because the ball, for sure I see her put her finger up and it changed the rhythm a little bit and I went down a little bit with the service game, my serve game.

But it was tough to lose the game and it is very good, I was coming back on the 4-3 or 5-4 down, I was -- she was serving -- so it was very good I do something to come back and my coach was helping a little bit, yes.

Q. When you see her beginning to slice, even though she usually hits hard, did you think, "What is she doing playing my game?"
SU-WEI HSIEH: She was slicing pretty good. Yeah, I was surprised. I was okay, I cannot do stable and try to play my stuff, so I was doing very good to keep concentrate on my game.

Q. How was it for you when you are playing someone like Sabalenka? Mentally, I guess, you have to keep in the present and just deal point-by-point? Is that the main way to play someone like her?
SU-WEI HSIEH: It's not easy because you know she can make any winner from anywhere; serve, return, baseline (smiling). And I was doing some -- when she come to the net also it was not easy so I was doing something and final set I do some changing, I don't just lob, I sometimes hit a few short and go in pretty well.

And I think I have been doing pretty good today and she was playing very high. Normally the ball on the baseline, you can make a bad mistake and then I was standing there and trying to get every ball back so it was helping a lot.

Q. Is that the thing that sometimes you just concentrate more on the ball than the opponent when you are facing someone like her?
SU-WEI HSIEH: I normally try to concentrate on myself a little bit, yes (smiling). For me, I like to focus on myself because you are going to have a good day, you are going to have a bad day, and then how you deal with it and then if you have a bad day, you say "Okay, whatever." I just am going to lose the match but I keep trying.

If I lose, I play so bad and then I just don't see my phone today because you know sometimes people judge you on the internet so I say, "Okay, no phone today" (smiling). I'm happy I win today so I can watch my phone a little bit (laughing).

Q. Does this mean you will have a good evening relaxing and taking things easy? What will you do when you have won a game like that, how is your evening looking like?
SU-WEI HSIEH: Normally, when you win a game, it helps a little bit for the recovery because you feel more life on the body, yes, (laughing). So I'm happy that I win today.

Q. Will you go out for a meal or will you stay in tonight?
SU-WEI HSIEH: I definitely am going out for a nice meal in Birmingham (laughing).

Q. You have beaten seven of the eight top ten players in the past two years now, you have pretty much beaten everyone. Before 2017 you didn't beat any top ten players, so what changed, what's the biggest improvement in the past couple of years for you?
SU-WEI HSIEH: You know, yes, I never beat, like, a top ten or top 20 a lot before. And some of the matches I was leading a lot, I was winning first set 3-Love, second set, and I just crack and it never happened (smiling).

So the last two years because I come back with a very bad situation, I was injured, I was still injured with my ankle, but it was a little bit funny and it was hurting. Sometimes you come in from the practice, from the match, and you and you do not know if it is going to be worse, or if it is going to be better.

So my game plan was okay, I go on the court and then I keep trying and I don't show my opponent what happened, and if it's not going well, I keep playing, and maybe it become better. So I was still more focussed on myself again and I don't -- I didn't put any pressure because, as you know, when you are not well, you can play bad, same (laughing).

So I tried to stay cool, smile and say "Okay, whatever, anything can happen." So I just need to be positive and try my best and it was helping a lot because against a big player, sometimes you just lose your concentration and you went down and the match is going very fast, like this (she clicks her fingers), like second set was going very fast.

So I think to come back from the injury was helping me a lot to be more concentrate on the court, to be more positive and more happy on the court.

Q. When you look back at your whole career, as a teenager you won everything and then in your 20s it was up and down. And now in your 30s it is up.
SU-WEI HSIEH: Unfortunately, yes. I'm lucky, I won with junior, I was pretty good and then I left the family and I didn't get any help from Taiwan so, of course, when you are not consistent to practice and no-one give you advice and it takes a long time to come back.

And I'm very lucky at 25-years-old I was working with Paul and then he believed in me and he helped me to become a top 30 player in the singles, but at that time when he coached me my ranking was 343. It was pretty -- not very good (laughing) at that moment. So I think Paul was doing a lot to help me to come back on the tour.

It was great to -- a great moment to share the life with him and he was helping me a lot to win the doubles in a Grand Slam because it is one of my goals, in my life, because I know with my situation, in the singles I have no chance. I know it. At that time, I wasn't thinking about the singles, so I tell Paul, "Paul, I want to win a Grand Slam in doubles or even mixed doubles" (laughing).

And then okay, then the first 18 months the singles was going up, so it was a miracle that happened, everyone was working hard.

And a very funny thing at the beginning, he take me to running after the match, or after the practice, he was running so fast. And then I was like running, running. I was behind him. And then I was further and further and further and then he needed to go slow.

And after like six months I was keeping the rhythm with him so he was giving me a lot of good, positive stuff.

Q. Do you feel you are at your fittest now? Everyone talks about your hands. But you run and run even though your feet don't move that much?
SU-WEI HSIEH: My feet not moving that much?

Q. He said that, not me.
Q. Sometimes you hit shots without... You are really fast...
SU-WEI HSIEH: (Smiling) I do move my feet and, of course, my fitness level went up and it helps my game a lot because the fitness, if you don't have fitness, if you lose the half step or one step away you have a lesser feeling with the ball, you will be stretched like this, you will have a super feeling like a Roger Federer -- sorry, I'm not a Roger Federer (laughing). That's good. I was working hard with Paul beforehand and I have a fitness coach. He helped me to set up a fitness coach so I am doing pretty good right now.

Q. I was going to say, you mentioned injuries -- and you have had quite a lot of them. Do you think that's helping you play freer and having a very good period now because you know what it is like to get injuries and be away from the sport? Does that help you, mentally?
SU-WEI HSIEH: No, it was very tough (laughing). I was really, at the first tournament, at the first I get injury, I still play some tournament, but it was like nightmare, it was quite painful, every match when you go on the court, because I feel it's the bone touch the bone, the pain is feeling like this, it is not a very comfortable stuff.

So, I was thinking okay, I don't think I can run, so I have to hit every shot harder and something happened, so I win tournament or 125 in Dubai, so sometime with my injury, yes, I can do more aces, or more winners. Maybe it can help a little bit sometimes if I manage it better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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