February 11, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
E. SVITOLINA/C. Gauff
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Perhaps some reflections on the match tonight?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah, she played really well. I was serving pretty good. I got unlucky on the breakpoints. I thought I played well. I mean, I have a lot to build on after this match, and hopefully do well in doubles with Caty.
Q. She described it as a really high level, high quality match. Do you feel the same way?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah. I mean, all the games were really close. Honestly, it was just the breakpoints she stepped up and played well. I had a couple breakpoints, and in the second set I think she only gave me like one or two, but I thought the sets were close. It really consisted of one break.
Q. What's the biggest thing you're going to take away from this tournament compared with the breakout major you had here last year?
COCO GAUFF: I really haven't thought about it yet (smiling). I'm still disappointed with the loss. Yeah, I haven't really thought about that.
Q. Do you feel like you played better tonight than at any time last year?
COCO GAUFF: Honestly, yeah. I think, I mean, compared to my two first-round matches last year to this year I thought I played overall better.
Last year my third round against Naomi, I think it was third round, I think that was one of my best matches. Today I feel like I played better. Not the result that I wanted, but I thought that I played better.
Q. Is that just a sign of how the depth keeps getting tougher and tougher so you have to keep improving just to kind of maintain?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah. I mean, today I feel like she just played better than I did today on the pressure points. I mean, I served probably the best I have served in a long time, to be honest. I mean, one double fault and a bunch of first serves in.
I just got unlucky on the breakpoints, and she made me play, and I made some errors on the breakpoints. She hit, like, her forehand down the line really well and it was tough for me to defend that.
Q. What do you think you have learned over the last year about yourself and about the challenges of achieving your potential on the tour?
COCO GAUFF: I think overall this year during quarantine I learned that -- I mean, I can come back at any point, even down the two set points and the two match points, still that I could come back and win the match, I mean, obviously it didn't go my way, but, I mean, I'm gonna fight to the end, and I did that today.
Q. What are the next steps for you after this tournament?
COCO GAUFF: After this tournament, I think I'm playing Doha or Dubai, one of those. I don't even know, really. I haven't looked at the schedule, to be honest.
I'm definitely going to be playing those tournaments after this, and then for sure Miami. Then after Miami, yeah, whatever, I'm not sure, but for sure the next two tournaments after this and Miami and then we'll see from there.
Q. Do you consider Svitolina a challenger for the championship here?
COCO GAUFF: Yeah, I mean, I would hope to lose to somebody who's gonna win.
Yeah, I mean, at this point in this stage is anybody's game, and, I mean, if I lose, if she ends up winning and I lose to the champion, that shows how close I am.
Last year I lost to the eventual champion, so it shows that I'm pretty close.
Q. Sofia said today, and she said it a couple of times before, as well, that she felt really nervous coming in defending a major for the first time. You had a big tournament here last year. Was any part of today's match affected by nerves for you? Did you feel nervous going into it?
COCO GAUFF: No. To be honest, today I felt really calm on the court. A lot of people saw that back home. I got a lot of text messages saying I looked calm on the court and I did feel calm, and I felt I was playing well and I felt really in the moment.
I didn't think about last year, and I try not to compare results and everything, because the past is the past. You focus on going right now, and, yeah, I don't really focus too much on past results and all that, because it happened and can't change it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports