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September 19, 2020

Elise Mertens

Roma, Italia

Press Conference

K. PLISKOVA/E. Mertens

6-3, 3-6, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I just wanted to ask you to give me your opinion on what makes Karolina a tough player on clay? She's known as a very hard hitter, but I don't think it's just her power that makes her strong on this surface. So after playing her today, what would be your assessment of her abilities on clay?

ELISE MERTENS: I think definitely her first serve, if it's a high-percentage first serve and it's pretty difficult to win the point, to get that neutralizing ball to start the rally. But also her second service is pretty hard and on speed, actually.

Yeah, I think her strength is her power. I feel like when she's in the reach, she still sometimes can get that forehand down the line, that really striking ball.

But, yeah, I think that that's it. She sees it very well. Maybe it doesn't look that way, but she sees it very well when you know you can go crosscourt or down the line. And she's try to dictate -- once you're a little bit behind the baseline, she's try to dictate the point.

Q. Is there anything you wish you had done differently today, or was it just one of those days?

ELISE MERTENS: I think in the first two sets I played pretty well. Third set, the energy was a little low, you know, from all the matches and all the traveling and US Open and everything.

But overall, I'm pretty pleased with my level. I have played four matches on clay.

I didn't know I was going to go this far because of the American tour because of no preparation. But, yeah, I think my consistency, I like that very well. So I'm pretty pleased about my level. Of course the third set could be better, but energy-wise it was a little empty.

Q. You're very excited about having a week off to relax and maybe practice?

ELISE MERTENS: Yeah, I think it's good not to play next week because I have played a lot of matches, and I came to Rome to get some matches and get that feeling on clay again, because, yeah, it's been three weeks, I would say.

Yeah, you know, that sliding and everything is different. So I'm happy that I got some matches in the legs, but then I can recover and fully prepare for the French Open.

Q. Did you get to see your dogs?

ELISE MERTENS: Tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow. Finally.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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