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February 15, 2021

Michael Geserer

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Of course she has, she had to go through that two weeks lockdown, hard lockdown. So during that time period of that time, how did you help her and how did you encourage her?

MICHAEL GESERER: It was a hard time. It was a one time or one life experience, but we were a bit fortunate because Jennifer had like a connecting room to the physio and athletic coach, Daniel Pohl. And, yeah, when we found out that we cannot leave the room, yeah, we started to improvise and to use the room to do, yeah, like a gym. We got some equipment, some weights, and a bike for Jennifer to -- and at the end also a little treadmill.

So we tried to make the best out of the time. I mean, we knew we can't change it, so we tried to get there with a positive approach. I mean, nobody had that experience before, and I also don't want to have it again, definitely. I can have it when I don't have to do sports. But, yeah, I think we managed it quite well with like chats and talks, and most of all they managed it really well because they had like a schedule every day, but not like time-wise schedule, so when they woke up they decided, okay, we start working in one and a half hours and then, and they did a great job. Daniel is a great athletic coach. Yeah, and Jenny was just, wanted just to get stronger, yeah, like physically in that time.

Q. After that lockdown is done and when you guys went out, what was your plan toward this tournament, because if you kept, if you push too hard, maybe she is going to get injured and you had a very short period of preparation.

MICHAEL GESERER: Yeah, it was very important that we communicate, that Jennifer tells Daniel and me how she is feeling. I mean, we hit soft on Saturday. We came out Saturday morning at -- I think we went to the hotel at 1 in the morning, went to bed at -- yeah, we had to stay until midnight. We changed hotels. So then we went for a walk, then the coaches, they were waiting for us and then we had a talk with them and sit together and then we went to bed at 2 or 2:30.

We had two light sessions and Saturday and then Sunday Jenny played a match with Ash Barty, like doubles. We didn't expect anything, but Ash was playing well, so, yeah, they won the doubles. And, no, we planned then day by day. And, as you said, we didn't want to do too much, but we also didn't want to do, yeah, not enough. It was, yeah, just by talking and feeling just to find out. We haven't had a situation like that before, but we tried to, yeah, to look after every little detail.

Q. What are your thoughts on the three, not just on the player you coach, but on Shelby, on Jen, and on Jess, having this success and what they do for each other?

MICHAEL GESERER: It's great. They are happy for each other. I see that every day somebody wins, they congratulate, they cheer. I think it's a great spirit, a great atmosphere.

Q. And what do you think it signifies as far as their careers and also American tennis?

MICHAEL GESERER: I think it's great for American tennis, if not three women, maybe four, but three women in the quarterfinals of a slam, I think that's great. I know each -- yeah, each girl and they're working very hard individually.

But I can't speak for Shelby or for Jess, yeah, where they will end up or go. But they're doing a great job. They have good coach. They have a good spirit.

Q. Obviously Jen has decided to go far from her home to work, to get instruction. That kind of takes a special person. What makes her special as a student of the game and why has she improved recently so much?

MICHAEL GESERER: First of all, she loves the game. She, after college I think she found out, okay, this is what I want to do. And, yeah, she's, she gives 100 percent, yeah, every day on the court, off the court. She wants constantly improvement. She wants to improve. She wants to learn. And, yeah, she hasn't wasted one minute of training. That is, I think, remarkable.

Q. I'm curious, with Jen and with the whole team, there's had to be a lot of adjustments that have been made the last probably month, two months or so, because of, you guys thought that you would be in Australia in the middle of December and then she flew back and all this sort of stuff. So that type of improvisation can be something tennis players are not used to because they're so used to a schedule. So what has been the key to being flexible and yet still being able to produce the results that she's been able to produce here?

MICHAEL GESERER: It's just that we're looking for solutions, okay, what's the best option, so we go for that. Yeah, in the lockdown we didn't have more than one option and that was staying in the room, otherwise you have trouble. So we, yeah, we did that. Yeah, her, when we found out we don't have to arrive on the 14th of December, which was originally planned, then we said, okay, that's perfect, then you can go home, see your family for Christmas, and I can stay home also and see my family for Christmas, which is also nice.

No, we, yeah, I think Jen is super, yeah, relaxed and easy with changes. I mean, she takes it as it is. Yeah, it's, and, yeah, with we all tried to make the best out of every situation. I think, yeah, there is no other way. For me there is no other way. Just, yeah, and to be honest, I mean, we are, I'm super happy and thankful that, yeah, that Tennis Australia and the government, they, yeah, they installed a season, a summer season. They installed the Australian Open. Unfortunately -- there were fans at the beginning, which was great. It was like, yeah, I loved it. Maybe they will be coming back on Thursday. And, yeah, everything what they did was just, yeah, amazing in these times. Now we, yeah, and if we have to stay a few days in the room, yeah, we will do it. We understand the situation. We understand how it is here and, yeah, we want to help making everything possible.

Q. Talking about playing, she's back into the quarterfinals of a hard court major. Expectations and all of that can change for her. I think I talked to her a little bit and she said, yeah, it's about kind of staying not too crazy about what the expectations are and putting pressure on herself. But what has been the key going into this tournament and knowing what she did in New York, you know, being able to play as freely as she has?

MICHAEL GESERER: First of all, we're not looking deep. We're looking at the next match always. We got a chance, which I also think was nice. They let us play in a tournament just to prepare. I mean, probably we wouldn't have been worried to play in the normal tournament, to be honest. They installed a third tournament for people with -- I think it's fair for everybody and, yeah, and we had a few matches here and there, we could work a little bit.

I think also Jen's quite happy that she played so many matches, so she doesn't have to practice with me, for example (laughing). And, no, we, I don't have any expectations. I just want her to perform best when she steps on court and we try to make that possible, and then, yeah, we see what's happening. It's not, there is no must or something. It's just enjoy being out there, play whatever is possible, and then, yeah, see what the outcome is.

Q. 2020 was a year where Jen really showed that she could handle new occasions and moments, had her first win over a No. 1, she passed her first WTA final with big colors, obviously had the US Open run. So what does it do for you as a coach when you guys have this trust that when you help get her to these moments that she's able to go out there and really produce at the level that you want her to be able to do?

MICHAEL GESERER: The question is how do I feel about that? What did you want to ask me?

Q. What does it do for you as a coach when you can see that she can continue, when she gets to a new experience she's able to not only handle it, but she's able to really produce.

MICHAEL GESERER: In my head I have like an idea how she is playing or should be playing and, yeah, I want to see the confirmation that she's, yeah, executing what we were working on, that she's developing, and, yeah, the results, they are there like, yeah, they are nice. But for me more important how is she developing. That is something I'm, of course I'm happy with the tournament win or good results, but more important is, yeah, how is the progress.

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