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February 14, 2021

Wim Fissette

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think was the key of today's match? How do you analyze, sum up today's match?

WIM FISSETTE: Obviously it was a very difficult match. Coming into the match, we knew that it was going to be very tough. Especially they both never played each other. It's always difficult to see what to expect and how is the ball going to feel, how is Muguruza going to deal with the heavy power from Naomi.

You always have a lot of questions if you never played someone. I think it was just difficult for Naomi to find the right balance. I think she was playing very well, but sometimes I do think she missed a little bit of discipline in her game with the choices she made and also with her footwork.

But I think Garbine played a really good match. It was tough for Naomi. Obviously, as we could see, a few balls decided who won this match. Lucky it was us.

Q. Naomi said she got information about her of course before the match. But the beginning of the match, it didn't creep in her mind or head. What kind of information did you give to her? Did you think at any point something clicked in her mind during the match?

WIM FISSETTE: Yeah, I always give information, especially against a player she never played before, like what can we expect, how is this player playing. As you know, I make kind of a video presentation for Naomi so she could see how a player like Garbine is playing, where is she placing her serves, what does the serve look like, so she has a good idea.

Also trying to find a few weaknesses of the opponent, trying to find a winning pattern, winning strategy against a player.

I think, yeah, like I just said, also in the tactical plan there was sometimes a little bit of lack of discipline and really sometimes keeping it to the tactical plan.

It was a big match, a lot of emotions. You want to win it. Sometimes it's a little less clear in your head. The great part of, like, Naomi is that when it's really, really important, today it was almost a little too late, then she really finds the way. I think it was at the end of the third set where she was very smart and very disciplined to the tactical plan.

Q. Where do you think Naomi needs to improve into the next round? Tactical, regulating emotions?

WIM FISSETTE: Well, next game is going to be a very special one. I think it's both. First of all, emotions. She knows what to expect from her opponent. Yeah, she can expect anything from her next opponent (smiling).

I think it's just very important, we had the experience today, next match is going to be very different, but to be very, very disciplined with her emotions. You know that the opponent is going to be very, very tricky, going to do the most unexpected things. Also we're going to have a clear game plan, really try to stick to it from the first to the last ball. Yeah, keep that focus on the first to the last one.

Q. You mentioned often from the sidelines for her to have good energy. Is that the kind of mentality you want her to continue throughout the next game?

WIM FISSETTE: Yeah. For some reason I felt that was, like, missing a little bit. Sometimes it's because of the emotions. It's the second week of a slam. She knew she had a really tough opponent today. For sure there are emotions that can restrict her energy. The lack of energy, let's say, can stop her from having the right intensity in her footwork, and that can cause some unforced errors she shouldn't make.

There's always a lot of things. There's always things that you can do better. But I'm very pleased with her performance today, with her mentality, with her attitude today.

But, yeah, I think whenever I see the right energy, the right intensity from her footwork, I know the best Naomi is there. Today maybe it took a little longer.

Q. What kind of conversation did you have after the match?

WIM FISSETTE: After this match?

Q. Yes.

WIM FISSETTE: For 95%, very positive, because I think it was a great match against a very tough opponent. So a lot of good things I've seen also today. Just in general, we've been working for three months before this tournament. We worked on a lot of things, just to keep evolving her game.

Today in the match, sometimes she wasn't serving really well, but then she can still beat a really tough opponent with her groundstrokes. So I liked that. Also worked on the second serve. I see a good percentage of winning on the second serve. We worked a lot on the return, and I see now good percentages on winning on the return.

It's important for her to see the things she was really putting a lot of work in now also shows in the matches. In every match, there's something that can be better. It's very important to focus on the positives, I feel. That was it.

Q. Looks like you showed her many stats or numbers, right?

WIM FISSETTE: She's getting more and more into it. She's even asking after the matches, What were my stats on the winners and unforced, the second serve?

So far she has been very impressive on the winners compared to the unforced. Even today she was feeling that she made a lot of unforced. She still had more winners. It's great if she can keep showing those stats.

Q. How have you seen the return of Ash Barty to tennis this year, given she had a year off?

WIM FISSETTE: Yeah, I mean, I think it's very impressive. Also not really a surprise. Ashleigh is such a natural. Honestly, I didn't expect anything else from her. She feels the game really well. She understands the game really well. She also has different options if something is not working, she can go back, let's say, to a little bit more slice on the backhand. She has her serve. She can, let's say, make the other player play bad that day. She has different options.

Still, yeah, to win the first tournament after 12 months and also the way she's been playing now, it's very impressive. She's for sure a very tough one to beat her.

Q. What are your thoughts on the potential for Naomi to be a dominant player on the hard courts?

WIM FISSETTE: Well, that's our plan. I mean, we focus on trying to make her better by every tournament, and to use the practice weeks, yeah, evolving her game, developing her game.

I do feel she has been quite dominant already the past two years. If we can keep focusing on her, and every time do better, then we're going in the right direction. But obviously I also think that Naomi is much more of just a really good hard court player, and I'm really looking forward to a kind of normal clay court and grass court season. I really want to see her perform there. I have no doubt she can do really well on those surfaces, too. Yeah, I really hope it's going to happen and she can also gain confidence on those surfaces because she hasn't been successful. Being really confident in her moving, in her maybe game plan, that's going to be the key for those surfaces.

Q. Naomi said you and her practice a lot returns in off-season last year. What does it mean for Naomi's return to improve? What advantage is there in improving her return game?

WIM FISSETTE: Well, as we all know, Naomi is one of the best servers of the past years, right? She still is. That's putting already a lot of pressure on the opponent. If you lose your serve against Naomi, there's a high chance you lose the set.

Of course, if you can increase the numbers of returns in, that will be more and more creating pressure on the opponent. It's a very important part of her winning matches. To improve the return, it's also technical. It's a different shot. A forehand return is not the same as a normal groundstroke forehand and backhand. It's a different shot and you need a different training for that.

For one part it's technically, but also it's just quantity. It's about doing it, doing it, getting the right rhythm, getting the confidence. So, yeah, we've spent quite a lot of time. With Naomi, she really wants something, it's going to happen. We both agreed, okay, the return was, moving forward, the most important part of her game to improve. If we improve that part, we have the highest chance of further success. So that's why we both put a lot of attention to that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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