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


February 23, 2020

Elise Mertens

Doha, Qatar

E. MERTENS/Wang Qiang

6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Tough field this time, lot more quality players. How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself going deep in the competition? And my second question is, you're part of the Clijsters Academy, is there anything at all that Clijsters has told you about defending a title or even playing in pressure moments when there is everybody wants to beat you?
ELISE MERTENS: Well of course a lot of great players playing this tournament. I don't really look at the draw so I only know my next opponent and I think it's important just to play match by match. So, yeah, it's going to be very difficult to defend, but you know there's always a chance to and I'm going to try to play the best I can.

And, yes, I'll practice at the Kim Clijsters Academy. Well, she's back on tour, I practice with her some times already, but it's mostly my coach who tells me the advice and my team. So, yeah, it's very important for me just to be focusing on myself.

Q. Your matches against Wang Qiang have been pretty dramatic ones in the past, but back-to-back weeks you've played each other and you got pretty straightforward wins. So what do you think has been the difference these last two weeks?
ELISE MERTENS: Well, like last week, I didn't expect it to be a match like that and this week actually either. I think she didn't really like the wind that much. I tried to adapt to the wind and you can't always play full force when the wind is coming, it can change directions. So I think that's what I managed better at this week and last week.

For the rest, I don't know, mentally I was prepared to do battle and I was feeling like I was the one stepping in the court more.

Q. And then just going back to the off season and everything and when you sat down and you talked to Robbe and your team about what you wanted to achieve in 2020 and what the goals were, I mean can you kind of share with us kind of your mindset going into this season and still now at the start of the season?
ELISE MERTENS: Well of course the Grand Slams are the most important tournaments and you want to do really well there. I think fourth round at the Aussie Open was a good start for me, definitely. Yeah, that's kind of difficult because every tournament you want to do the best you can and I'm only playing these bigger tournaments from now on, I'm not in the top 20 at the moment, so I would like to be back in the top 20. Yeah, this week hopefully I can be -- I don't know if I'm going to be a champion, but I'll do go as far as I can go. I think, result-wise, if my level is going to be there, I can make some good results.

Q. Is there anything you've noticed different about Doha from the last time you have been here? And the country's preparing for the 2022 World Cup, have you seen any of the infrastructure the stadiums or what is your comments about that?
ELISE MERTENS: Well it's always nice to go back when you did well the year before and it's always a great feeling to be back. And the hotel has changed but for the rest everything is pretty the same. But I like it here and I think the courts suit me. So, yeah, I don't know, I just like to be, I love to be back, yeah.

Q. What do you take out of -- because you've had successful title defenses before in your career -- what do you take from those experiences and apply to try to defend here?
ELISE MERTENS: I think it's important to not focus on the win you had last year. Of course a good feeling you want to stay with. Yeah, of course, the points and the pressure, you really have to deal with that, but I think I'm doing it pretty good, pretty well. I know I managed to get a back-to-back title in Hobart. Of course this is still a different level, but, yeah, don't put focus too much on the points I think and what you have to defend.

Q. And then just given that you have practiced with Kim in the past at the academy and everything, so you probably, more than anybody, know what her ball feels like at this point in her career. Were you surprised at all with respect to her performance last week against Garbine?
ELISE MERTENS: I think in the first set -- I mean everybody has to duck when you're out for seven years -- but still she did a great job in the first set. But I think as the match went further and further she was really adapting really well and really fast. I think, well maybe I didn't really expect her to be like this in the second set already, but she came back from 3-0, I was actually watching the match, the whole match, and she's a great fighter and she hasn't loss that spirit yet.

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