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February 13, 2021

Karolina Muchova

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

K. MUCHOVA/K. Pliskova

7-5, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk us through how tricky it is to play someone you know so well, you're friends with, how you approach that kind of match.

KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Yeah, definitely, definitely very tough. Both of us, we were very nervous I would say. Lucky to get through, to hold the end of the first set. Second set was a bit slower from my side. It was still just few points difference. I knew I was close. I was always near the break. I had two breakpoints. I didn't use them.

Yeah, Kara did few mistakes, then I still kept fighting. I'm happy that I turned that second set around and made it.

Q. What changed that enabled you to reel off those seven straight games?

KAROLINA MUCHOVA: I think I had a little low in start of the second set. But still, as I said, on her serve I had few breakpoints, I just didn't use them. It's about, yeah, few points. I just believed that I can still make it.

I saw that she was a bit nervous and shaky. Definitely was as well about head. All match was about to be there mentally and to fight. Yeah, few points. I'm happy. I'm happy that it worked out in a second set.

Q. Is there a different vibe when you are playing a match to get into the second week as opposed to playing a first- or second-round match?

KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Well, it is different. Especially for me here in Australia, I think I just made it to second round here. I really appreciate and I'm really happy that it worked out this year and I'm in the second week. It's always nice to be in the second week of the Grand Slam.

Q. There are quite a few players here who have talked about they've had many times trying to get to the second week. It's become a bit of a hurdle. You do it on your first try. How do you explain that?

KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Well, not the first try. It's not about do I do it. It's a match by match. You never know if you actually going to get to the second week.

I just want to win every match. That's actually how I get there and how others get there. So, yeah, just to play every match my game to win, yeah, I'll be there.

Q. Are you surprised going into the second week that it is you and your countrywoman Marketa that are still alive in the draw from your country as opposed to Petra and Karolina?

KAROLINA MUCHOVA: I wouldn't say 'surprised'. I think we have many good players. I think it could be actually even all of us here in the second week. But, yeah, I played Karolina now, so it had to be one of us.

I think if actually Petra would win, she would play Marketa. We have many good players. Yeah, yeah, I'm happy for Marketa as well to be in the second week.

Q. Do you think the fact that you and Karolina were practice partners during the two weeks of quarantine helped you to go out there and play an actual match, being familiar?

KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Yeah, I think it was advantage for both of us. Even though if we wouldn't be here for those two weeks of quarantine, we know each other anyway pretty well. We practice a lot in Czech. We knew each other even before those two weeks.

But definitely it was nice two weeks of practicing. We had good practices, good preparation together. Yeah, we could both take it as an advantage, I think.

Q. You're playing this tournament without lines persons, electronic line calling. Have you gotten used to that, you don't have to challenge the calls, you accept the technology?

KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Yeah, I mean, it's easy to get used to it. It's nice to sometimes take a challenge and hope that the ball is in or not. Yeah, it's definitely nice thing that we don't have to be, like, mad or anything when there's some bad call.

So it's fine.

Q. How different did you feel taking the court today to play Karolina compared to Wimbledon?

KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Yeah, it was a bit different. It was in a different stage at that time. At that time I didn't even know Karolina, so it was a bit new for both of us.

But, yeah, it was on a grass court. It was very different, yeah, just a pretty different match than today.

Q. I know obviously in the past physicality has been an obstacle for you at times earlier in your career, keeping healthy and fit. Your preparation not just during the five months off but even the longer pre-season break, was it tricky at all to have to maintain your body and be sure it's in tip-top shape while not having matches?

KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Yeah, I think it was actually kind of advantage because we could focus on some parts we wanted to. We had a lot of time. We just made a good plan I think to have breaks and to just put tennis at some point, then fitness, to work on stuff.

I had a lot of time to prepare myself, my body, yeah, everything. I think it was actually good to have this preparation.

Q. Looking ahead, playing either Mertens or Bencic, talk about the challenge of playing them.

KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Yeah, well, I know Elise. I played her not so far ago in Ostrava last year. She's a very good player. It was tough match.

Never played Belinda. But, as well, all I can say, she is also very, very quality player.

Whoever them it is, it's going to be tough, tough match, yeah.

Q. The new normal is that you have to take the court with masks. Everybody has done little doodles on their masks. You kind of had one. Is it interesting to have this additional new way to express yourself?

KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Yeah, yeah, well, everyone has to wear it. In my case with my team, we just made very simple, simple face mask with my signature. Since everyone, as I said, has to wear it, we tried to make it that people can actually buy them on my website. It's for a good cause. It goes to charity for sick little kids from my hometown. Everyone who get one with my signature is doing a good thing and helping a kid. That's why we have this, like, yeah, my face masks.

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