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February 23, 2020

Sofia Kenin

Doha, Qatar

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. How has the preparation been like and have you felt any difference of anything over the last few weeks since Melbourne?
SOFIA KENIN: Yeah, I mean I had Fed Cup and everything and last week it was a touch match for me, she played a really good match, she's on a hot streak. I just feel like I like to get more matches in, obviously a bit more pressure coming from the outside obviously, a lot more expectations, but I got to figure out how to manage it.

Q. How are you figuring out -- I mean, are you talking to other players to kind of see what their thoughts are or is it mainly just talking with you and your dad and your agent and figuring out how to deal with it all?
SOFIA KENIN: Yeah, I don't think I should tell the players about this (laughing). Yeah, I'm just talking to my dad, my agent and just trying to figure out what's the best way I can handle it and, yeah, just handle it. I mean, it's been only a week since I had like a little drop, so -- because Fed Cup was fine, I played well, I was actually proud with the way I came back after, but, yeah, last week was a bit tough.

Q. How does that manifest itself in you? You're saying that you can sense that the expectations are higher and things like that? Is it press conferences like this, is it the racket feels heavier in your hand when you're out there, what, how do you feel different with the expectations that you feel now?
SOFIA KENIN: Yeah, I just feel like a lot of people are watching and like obviously talking from the outside. Yeah, I mean, obviously the racket doesn't feel that heavy, it's still the same, but, yeah, just I feel like I really want to start off well and keep my momentum going forward. So hopefully I can do that this week and more weeks to come.

Q. You had some success in doubles, so do you plan to play doubles consistently in the future?
SOFIA KENIN: Yeah, we just -- she told me before during Fed Cup that she's playing with Kristin, but, yeah, we're playing in Indian Wells, Miami and we haven't talked about after that, but we're still playing, everything is fine, we're still buddies, everything -- nothing's changed. Just one week we're not playing. No big deal.

Q. As a singles player, do you consider playing doubles along with the singles as well?
SOFIA KENIN: Some tournaments, yeah, for sure doubles, but I'm a singles player, so obviously some tournaments I'm not going to play doubles. But of course all the Premier 5s, all the Grand Slams, it's definitely an option to play doubles there.

Q. After the Australian Open, walking onto a court is most definitely different. Probably it was for you. Probably before that, before the Australian Open it was probably there was no pressure, no expectation. So how do you think, what do you feel when you walk onto a court? Does it overwhelm you any more or you're fine, you just focused on the match?
SOFIA KENIN: I try to, at least, to focus on the match. That's what I got to figure out how to manage the expectations and people talking from the outside. But before Australia and everything obviously there was different kind of pressure, but I did have like expectations, I was hard on myself. I want to do well in every tournament, so it's not a surprise. And nothing's changed from my side the way I am, because I hate losing and, yeah, you know I hate losing, so, yeah.

Q. During the Australian Open there was a clip from Bethany she shared on her Instagram about you getting excited about Andy Roddick wishing you. Can you talk about that a little bit as in how big of a role model was he for you and did you actually get to talk to him after you won?
SOFIA KENIN: No, we didn't talk. But, yeah, he followed me on Twitter and stuff, so I was like, Okay, thank you. I followed back, of course. I just remember that Kim Clijsters video when she introduced me to Andy Roddick. I had followed his career when he was playing, I really liked how he plays and everything. But, yeah, I was super excited. I saw the tweet -- we were just talking and then I see the tweet and I'm like, Oh, my God, Andy Roddick tweeted at me. So it was super exciting, the words that he said congratulating me, it meant a lot and I'm sure he also thinks it's just crazy and I was little and I was looking at him and he's like, You're going to be No. 1 eventually, and, yeah, I just won a Grand Slam, so I'm sure he's also super excited for me.

Q. Is the Olympic games a big goal for you this year?
SOFIA KENIN: That was the goal at the start of the year, you asked me, so, yes, Olympics were the start and Shenzhen.

Q. Have you interacted with Kim Clijsters and did she give you any words of advice and what did you think about her comeback?
SOFIA KENIN: I talked to her in Dubai, she was really nice about it, she congratulated me, just asked me how I'm feeling I told her, obviously, I have more expectations, more pressure. And she just said just try to figure out how to manage it. Obviously it's not easy, but it's super exciting. She was really happy for me and, because we talked, I know her, she toured me around in Miami so I was really happy. And we talked a little bit about the video and the one that came out on WTA and she was saying she got chills seeing that. I almost had tears, so I just watched it once, I was done.

And, yeah, I'm super excited that she's back. I told her this is great and this is, I think it's super, a lot of respect to her and I wish her all the best and hopefully she can stay for a few years and everything.

Q. Just in terms of Naomi, Ash, Bianca, all the younger players who have won majors and all the ones who have done it before in terms of their first major, there's a little bit of this idea of fear, a little bit going forward, like, Oh, can I keep playing that way and now everybody expects me to win every match that play I and all these sorts of things. How do you see that? Is that something that you, an emotion that you feel right now in terms of like the stress of like, Oh, I got to keep going otherwise everybody's going to talk or things like that, because all the other players have mentioned that after, in the weeks following their major breakthroughs.
SOFIA KENIN: Yeah, definitely, I obviously want to keep it going. I like all the attention and everything, but obviously it's all different pressure, different expectations. I hope I can somehow manage it, like I said, but, yeah, of course I want to try to get deep in a tournament, I want to keep the momentum going. Of course fears, I don't want to have like bad tournaments, drop, so obviously that's in my head, but I try not to think about that because I'm playing well, so hopefully I can just at least maintain my level, I think it would be good enough. I don't think I need to expect myself to win every week. I would like to win and I'm playing to win, but hopefully just the better I play and the more matches I have will be good.

Q. You have a unique ball toss. Did it come to you naturally?
SOFIA KENIN: Yeah, it's just happened like that when I was little. And we tried to change it, it didn't work, I have done it like that, I won a Grand Slam, so I think I can live with that and I think I can do the same thing.

THE MODERATOR: All right, thank you so much.

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