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February 17, 2020

Garbine Muguruza

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

G. MUGURUZA/K. Clijsters

6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was it like to play Kim?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Exciting. I've seen her play when I was starting on the tour. I mean, she's an incredible player. Excited to be the first one on her third comeback, I think. I think she played very well, especially in the second set at the end. It was very tight.

So, yeah, I think it was a fun match to play.

Q. Mentally for you what was it like being in that position, so much hype around Kim's comeback, being the first player to play her?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I mean, I can't think really what's going on around her. I just wanted to focus on me. Was also the first tournament after the Australian swing, so I was just taking it easy.

I was just thinking that no matter who wins, it's going to be a fun match to play because it's a player that I think has been seven years away. I was lake, Okay, I'm excited to see what it's going to be like.

Q. Did she surprise you in any way today?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: She has the tennis over there. I'm sure she's going to get better and better, for sure give us a lot of trouble.

I think she played really well after all these years, mom, there's so many stuff.

Q. How about your own game tonight?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I was just humbled there, just to keep playing, get my rhythm back. It's a night match. Just thinking to take it easy, not get too crazy.

Q. What did you do after Australia? When everything sunk in, what were your biggest takeaways from what you were able to do there?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Actually, didn't take that many days off as maybe sometimes I would. I started right away training. It's a great feeling.

Of course, there is this final match that I know the difference between winning and not winning. For sure is very important. But I was very happy with the start of the year because normally it's a little bit tough. Few injuries in the last years. Very excited to go that far, to get those matches in my belt.

Q. You said something interesting at the end of the Australian Open, that you were not too happy with how things were with the media, your ups and downs. I wanted to follow up on that. Mentally or psychologically, how are you now dealing with that part? What was the most disappointing part for you?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I think I just learned a little bit how everything works more. I felt like every athlete struggles. I felt zero support when the hard times are there. It's normal, everybody has it. But I felt like we love you today because you won and tomorrow we hate you because you lost. It was such a crazy balance that I felt like, Okay, I'm probably less exciting just to share more.

I'm not thinking too much about it. I'm normal. I'm a little bit in my own bubble.

Q. Are you able to differentiate who the good guys are and the bad ones are in the media?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Oh, yeah, yeah (laughter).

I don't read what they say about me. Over the years, I know who are the dangerous ones, the ones that always twist the words, always look for the little thing over there that you're like, C'mon.

Yeah, I know who they are (smiling).

Q. How tough did you have to be out there because you're playing a girl who fights really hard and obviously you were expected to win a match, but she's not just a newcomer?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I don't think especially tough or tougher than other matches. I think every match nowadays, you got to be prepared.

I think this is just special because I didn't know how was she going to play. I know she can play incredible. She did at some point play incredible level. Just the special feeling. I haven't seen her play in so long, so it's like, Okay, what's going to happen?

Q. The WTA debuted the new rule today with coaching from the stands. Was it in your mind?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I mean, I think my coach was a little bit more free to say few things. I don't think it's a bad idea. I mean, they do it in every sport, the coach is screaming on the football, on the basket.

Yeah, it's not bad. Let's see how it goes for everyone.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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