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February 11, 2021

Kristina Mladenovic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference


7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk us through your match and what the conditions were like out there today?

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Yeah, well, what can I say? Yeah, to answer the question about the conditions, yeah, it was slightly different for me because I played later, almost at night. We arrived on court, was like daylight, day-night almost, and was actually pretty windy. I didn't expect it. And court 3 is still a nice court. It's a bigger one, and it felt like really windy out there. I think we could see it on both of our games. We struggled a little bit to find the right footwork and adjustments. There were lots of mistakes. But I feel like the more the game was going on, the better we were finding our strokes, at least on my side.

And yeah, about the match, it's exactly what I said; it was a tricky and difficult start for me. I was even down 5-3 in the first set, and I'm very glad I found my way to come back and win that first set. It was a big moment. It was a key for sure, and then I'm pleased the way I kept on going, stayed composed, took the lead in the second set and didn't look back.

Q. She said that she was quite nervous throughout today's match, and also she felt like you were also nervous, as well. Were you? And did you feel that your opponent was nervous today?

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Yeah, exactly what I said. Well, she expressed it like nervous. Yeah, I was, as well, for sure.

I think the conditions made us a little bit nervous because it was really windy, and we were not in good timing, you know. I think that was the very difficult part. There was, yeah, lots of mistakes in the beginning, but it's something you can expect. It's a new match, the second round, and conditions were not easy.

I felt on my side that it was getting better. It was less and less windy, especially when the night came. Yeah, it was difficult at the beginning, but yeah, on my side I stayed composed mentally. I tried to overcome this bad feeling of the beginning, and it helped me well.

Q. You were not in hard quarantine, you were allowed to practice?


Q. Who were you practicing with during that two weeks?

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: I practiced with Timea Babos.

Q. It's quite an unusual situation for you guys to keep practicing two weeks with the same player. Some players have said that affects the match because you are too used to hitting the ball with the exact same player. Do you think that kind of situation affects your play, to adjust to the match?

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Yeah, well, it's more the whole environment. It's for sure something completely new to do two weeks' quarantine, preparation always with the same people. We had a few people. It's more a global thing than me and my team. We tried to work it in a smart way, at times playing with Timea, at times playing with my coach, at times doing basket sessions, and we tried to figure it out. But yeah, for sure nobody ever prepared a Grand Slam this way with the two weeks, but it was the deal in order to be here and compete.

Overall at the end of the day it was a success, so we are all happy to be here.

Q. In this tournament you have to go through this two weeks' quarantine, but after that you have a kind of freedom. You can go shopping, you can go to restaurants. I don't know if you do that or not. On the other hand in Europe or New York you have to stay in the bubble. If you can choose, which do you prefer?

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Interesting question. Unfortunately I don't think it's possible technically to do every time two weeks for every tournament, otherwise we wouldn't have time. We wouldn't have enough tournaments. But because this is the first one of the year and it's important, it's a Grand Slam, we all accepted the challenge, so of course we are the happiest that here we live quite normally I have to say, and this feeling of freedom makes us feel good. It's fresh air again. It's very nice, and we all appreciate it and we try to embrace it and enjoy it as much as we can.

Then I didn't mind the bubble. I think Roland Garros organized it really well and there's no waste of time. Two weeks is long, so it's a tricky question.

Q. I think I spoke to you about seven years ago at the WTA event in Birmingham and there I asked you whether you could compete with the best players in women's tennis and you weren't sure. Do you feel as if now -- what's changed in that time, and do you now feel as if you can do that, compete with the very, very best?

KRISTINA MLADENOVIC: Well, a lot has happened in the last seven years. Yeah, I did have good performances and good wins over the best players in the world, so my answer would be yes, I can do it. I proved it to myself in the last seven years.

But yeah, now the challenge has always been to be consistent this way and try to have their level on a daily basis, and if they have that ranking it means the average level is pretty high, so that's the goal.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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