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September 14, 2020

Sofia Kenin

Roma, Italia

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How is it so far in Rome, going from, you know, the US Open bubble to now into Rome? What's your experience been like at the tournament?

SOFIA KENIN: Well, of course I love this tournament. Obviously it's a really tough transition from hard to clay. In, like, two days I have to play a match, a tough one potentially obviously. So it's not easy, but, I mean, it is what it is. Everyone has to go through it.

Of course there may be some matches that are not going to be looking the prettiest because it's so hard to adjust, but I hope I will have the prettiest match and make a good adjustment on the clay.

Q. What was the key for you in terms of not just making the transition from the US Open onto clay but also the transition of mentally, like, kind of putting away whatever happened in Cincinnati and in New York and now looking ahead towards two really, really big tournaments now on clay?

SOFIA KENIN: Yeah, I mean, of course I have to put that aside. Cincy I'm obviously going to forget because it wasn't good. I'm going to use what happened in New York, because I obviously had good matches and good wins. I finally felt like I was playing some really good tennis. So I'm going to use that here.

Obviously it's clay season, it's a new season, I have to obviously forget what happened in the past and just do the best I can here, and obviously hopefully I can do well.

Q. I saw you after you lost, like you returned to the grounds and were chilling in your suite. You looked relaxed. What was your mindset after you lost? It seems like you took it in your stride and you're kind of using it?

SOFIA KENIN: I mean, yeah, I obviously wanted to watch matches. I had a really nice suite, so obviously was a good place to hang out and chill.

Yeah, like you said, I was pretty relaxed. There were videos of me. I'm just sitting back. So it was nice. I was being really, really casual.

Q. Does knowing that you're a slam champion, I'm sure it doesn't change your intensity and that stuff, but does it make some losses easier to take, knowing that, I don't know, that you've done this great thing and you can do it again?

SOFIA KENIN: Yeah, obviously I want to do well, but a loss is a loss. I hate losing. So, yeah, it doesn't mean anything what happened. I'm obviously very competitive. Yeah, I lose, I'm going to be very devastated. Depends how everything goes, but I hate losing, so it doesn't change anything for me.

Q. What's your trick to dealing with losses? Do you have a go-to thing that you need? Is it something that just to help you move on?

SOFIA KENIN: Not really. I mean, there are sometimes, depends on the loss, I can be really upset for a week. It's not easy. It's different.

But obviously after I lose, I obviously hope some things are going to click and some kind of sign is going to happen and I'm, like, Everything is fine again. Now I can play and now I can be happy again.

Not much of a trick. A trick, I guess, to do also is cry a lot. That's what I do. I try to let it out. So, yeah, as you know already (smiling).

Q. It's healthy.


Q. And then as you transition your game from hard court onto clay, what is the biggest adjustment that you need to make? Do you have to make it, is it tactical, technical, physical, mental? What's the biggest thing you have to focus on to play well on clay?

SOFIA KENIN: Well, game-wise I play on every surface. I try to play the same. Doesn't really change. But of course clay is very physical. You have to run a lot, you have to slide. I feel like points are way longer.

You have to really have your fitness, really have to be fit, use your legs more, longer rallies. Not easy, especially if you play Spanish or Italians. They are really dangerous on the clay, for sure, and everyone else, obviously.

Yeah, I just have to be able to move, grind it out. I feel (indiscernible) on the clay here, you're done. It sits there. Yeah, I mean, there are some things that work on clay well, dropshots, slices, heavy ball. I won't give you all the tactics, but I guess you'll see, yeah.

Q. For the players that are coming over to Italy now that were playing on hard courts, do you think that you guys are at a disadvantage to the players who kind of stayed over here, been training on clay for the last, you know, few weeks, if not more than that, like do you feel like there is going to be a difference there in preparation?

SOFIA KENIN: I mean, of course a little bit. You know, I know a lot of people stayed here, trained on the clay, which is expected. But it's obviously different. I feel like they are a bit more prepared, of course, but no, we're obviously -- I guess we have a bit of an advantage that we have had had matches and we competed and have some matches under the belt.

So it's a little bit of both. But, yeah, definitely it's some kind of advantage, but like I said, anyone can win on any given day. I was playing great before Cincy, and I thought I'm going to do so well, and then I did not have the best match. It doesn't really matter what happens in practice. It counts what happens in matches.

Q. I'd like to know what is the situation comparing the two bubbles, New York and Rome? If you can bring as many people as you want where you are or just one, two, like maybe it was in New York? I'm not going to knock on your door because I live in Florence, but I'd like to know in your room, you are alone? There is, I don't know, the coach? I don't know. You have a neighbor next to you that you can talk to? How does it work?

SOFIA KENIN: No, honestly everything is the same. Bubble life, masks, social distancing, tennis, courts, hotel. I've got my own room. My dad is right next to me.

Yeah, I mean, it's pretty strict here. I think it's just one extra badge per player. Yeah, no one here, no extra people.

So, I mean, US Open you had a suite. Here you don't have suites. I guess that's the difference.

Q. So you're missing your father?

SOFIA KENIN: I mean, he's here. No, he's here.

Q. He's here with you?

SOFIA KENIN: He's here.

Q. Next room?

SOFIA KENIN: Yeah, yeah. I mean, yeah.

Q. Obviously you have had great results on clay in the past. Curious what your relationship with clay has been like historically, if you always liked it, if it took a while? What's that been like?

SOFIA KENIN: Obviously in the past I played juniors, and I did not have great success in the clay, so I did not like it. That wasn't my favorite surface. I felt like I wasn't strong, I couldn't -- I'm hitting a ball, it's not going anywhere. That was in the past.

Then last year, that's when I started to like clay leading up to -- I obviously wasn't a fan of clay, but then I had some great wins there. I started to really like it. I found my rhythm finally for once.

But right now it's obviously tough. Every time I come back on clay it's never easy. I've got to somehow switch the mentality and understand that the points are going to be longer. It's not going to be fast points like I like. The ball that I hit, it's going to come back. It's not like on hard or even grass where you can just put it away, it's going to be a winner.

It's very physical. So, yeah. And then I just try to get used to it and then, yeah, just try to find my game and my rhythm.

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