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September 2, 2019

Donna Vekic

New York, NY, USA

D. VEKIC/J. Goerges

6-7, 7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. From match point down to turn it back around, how happy are you with the result?
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah, I'm happy to win and I'm happy to win saving match points, happy to be first time in the quarterfinals. I'm just happy right now (smiling).

Q. Going into the third set, did you feel like you had the energy to push through? What was going through your mind?
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah, I think I definitely had the momentum on my side after second set. I knew she was going to be thinking about her match point, and, you know, I was just -- I had few chances to break her earlier in the third set, but she was just serving amazing today. But I'm happy that I could break her and then serve it out.

Q. You have come back from match points down three times this season. Given your evolution as a competitor where maybe those matches might not have gone your way or you have gotten down on yourself in the past, do you think that's the biggest improvement and explains your season and this result?
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah, I think definitely I change a lot mentally this year. I improved a lot in believing I could win at any given moment even when I'm match points down.

I think in Toronto against Madison, that was just a whole 'nother level. I was like one foot in the locker room already (smiling).

But, yeah, I think when the matches are, like, this close, you know, even if you're match points down, you have to believe that you can win. I was really going out there, when she was serving for 5-4, I was really thinking I could win this game and try to turn the match around.

Q. How do you change your mentality on that? At what moment do you think, I can go from being down when you're down match points to now being a player who believes that it's not over?
DONNA VEKIC: I think I've always been a player that fights until the end. I've always been a fighter. But since last year, since I had a few top-10 wins, I really got a lot of confidence from that. You know, I managed to build on that.

Q. Getting so close to this stage a few times now, what does it mean to make your first Grand Slam quarterfinal?
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah, I was, like, Oh, my God, I'm going to lose to her again in the fourth round (smiling).

But, you know, even when I was losing, I was, like, Okay, this is a completely different match to when I played her at Wimbledon. I really felt like I was more in the match. Whereas in Wimbledon, when I lost to her, it was just one-way street. Same against Jo in Paris.

But today I was really in the match and I was, like, Okay, I really have a good opportunity here. In the third set, Okay, I'm going to really try to take this.

Q. You were relieved after your first round against Hogenkamp. I remember talking to you and you were, like, I don't know how I won this match. How much are you looking forward to a straightforward match?
DONNA VEKIC: I don't think that happens with me. It always has to be a little bit complicated.

Yeah, I think first round was really tough for me, because that's really tough matchup for me. And then I think against Putintseva I played a really, really good match. I was really going for my shots.

Today I think I played -- today it was a lot of big serving, so there was not that many rallies. But I think in the third set I tried to be more aggressive, and it was I think working well for me. Hopefully I can just keep playing better.

Q. After that first set, the tiebreak, obviously she comes up with two magical shots. What's your reaction as you're walking to the chair after that?
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah, I mean, that passing shot at 5-All, that was unreal. Okay, you know, she got a little bit lucky, I feel, or -- not lucky. She played really well. It was not lucky. But I was, like, Okay, you're in this match. You can still win.

Physically I was feeling good. I felt like I could play for another five hours. So that was a big advantage for me today.

Q. You play Bencic next. Your thoughts on her as an opponent and her win today, as well.
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah, I mean, we always joke that we are playing each other in the draw. But we actually played in Paris. And was that the first time I beat her? I think so. We practice together often. I know her very well. She's such a nice girl.

I'm really looking forward to share the court with her on Wednesday.

Q. Speaking of practicing, you're everybody's favorite practice partner. But from your side, as somebody who practices a lot with other players, a variety of different players, top players, how much does that help you? Do you find those practice sessions have helped you in terms of information, or is it just more confidence that you fit with them, you're familiar with their ball?
DONNA VEKIC: I mean, if I was going by confidence in my practices, I would be, like, the worst player because I always get killed every time in practice. So thankfully it's not like that in matches.

But there is, like, a few girls I really enjoy practicing with when they don't take it too seriously and we can still have fun on the practice court. If we can't have fun on the practice court, then what's the point?

Q. Belinda clearly likes pace, likes to counter with power. She's good at it. Do you have to be smart about how you navigate that?
DONNA VEKIC: Well, that's a good question. Maybe I should think about that before my match (smiling).

Yes, I guess I will probably try to change the rhythm and play a few high balls, few slices, few dropshots to try to keep her guessing.

But, you know, my main game will definitely be to be aggressive and to try to open up the points, the court.

Q. The other day you were saying that when you were young and you're 16 and 17 and making WTA Finals you think it's going to happen all the time and the results are going to be there all the time. Now that you have made your first quarterfinal, can you appreciate this milestone in a way that maybe had this happened earlier...
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah, this is really such an amazing achievement for me. I have been already three times in the fourth round, and now making my first quarterfinals, it's amazing.

But I think me, if this happened to me when I was 18, I would be, like, Oh, my God, this is unreal. But right now I'm, like, really happy but I'm not done. I don't want to be done. I feel like there is still a lot to be done here, and I really want to keep going and try to win a few more matches.

Q. Do you think you made any mistakes as a prodigy you wish you hadn't done, that you wish you would have avoided if you could do them again?
DONNA VEKIC: Yeah, for sure. For sure I had mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when you're young.

I don't know what I would change, because when I was -- at those moments I thought I was making the right decisions, obviously. But my family really supported me. Even when they knew I was making the bad decisions, they really supported me and helped me a lot, and I'm really grateful for them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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