February 11, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
K. KANEPI/S. Kenin
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You always play so well in Australia, how do you compare your form so far this year to previous years?
KAIA KANEPI: Actually I don't think I have played that well in Melbourne. I have played well in Brisbane and Melbourne is just third round at Grand Slams I have played. Normally -- well I have made quarters in other Grand Slams and in Melbourne just third round, that's what I meant.
But this year I think it helped that I got many matches in the previous week to get used to the conditions and I also played many matches on Margaret Court and I also played there today, so I think that also helped to feel better.
Q. What do you think is the reason that this is the only Grand Slam you haven't reached the quarterfinals at yet?
KAIA KANEPI: I think coming here from pre-season and then long trip I haven't felt physically that great. Also in Melbourne the weather changes a lot and it's tougher to get used to the conditions if I haven't been in Melbourne for a longer time. But this year I think coming here for two weeks, first in quarantine and then the warm up tournament was also in Melbourne, I think that's what helped me.
Q. You have such an amazing record against top-10 players, this is your 13th win over a top-10 player and the 8th time at a Grand Slam. So that's amazing. But how does this particular win compare to all those others, because of, you know, she's defending champion and she made the French Open final too, she's playing very well. Like is this the best ever or where does it fit?
KAIA KANEPI: I don't really like comparing any more. I have learned that playing so many years. I'll take one match at a time and one tournament at a time and it all depends how I feel and how the opponent plays and so on.
But I played good today, I served really good and I think it was a good win.
Q. Did you get the sense that she was nervous, because she had actually said coming into the match she was very, she was a bit nervous I think about playing you and she's also said that she was struggling with nerves as the defending champion. Did you get a sense that she was nervous?
KAIA KANEPI: I couldn't actually know what she feels because I was nervous too (laughing). I had to calm myself down and then I had no time to look how the opponent is feeling or doing.
Q. Your form in general, you had your good week last week playing in Melbourne, but you also won your RTF events at the end of last year, so you've won 20 matches out of 22, like your form is great. What is clicking? What's working for you so well at the moment?
KAIA KANEPI: I think I feel physically good and that always helps a lot to play tennis.
Q. Is there anything you've done physically that makes you feel good? Like is this the best you've felt physically or are you just in a good space at the moment?
KAIA KANEPI: Well at this age where I am I can't say that it's the best (laughing). It's good, just good.
Q. Have you had to do anything at this stage of your career to work harder on the physical side of things because of maybe injuries or things like that?
KAIA KANEPI: I have to work harder on my recovery and not the physical aspect any more, I think.
Q. You mentioned that you were quite nervous ahead of the match. Why were you nervous? We know why she was nervous, why were you so nervous?
KAIA KANEPI: Probably playing the defending champion, that was the thought. Yeah, I guess that's it. Australian Open is like bigger tournament than the one before, it was like warm up tournament and it's a bit easier, but now it's big.
Q. This year both obviously last week and this week playing at Melbourne Park, courts are faster, the conditions are faster than they have played in the past. How much does that feed into your game, because I have to think that you like these conditions.
KAIA KANEPI: I like when I serve good, then it's a big advantage. But you never know, it doesn't happen every day. So actually I do like a bit slower conditions. But today the fast conditions worked very well for me.
Q. What does it mean for you to make the third round and be in a position where checking off that last quarterfinal at a slam is kind of within reach?
KAIA KANEPI: Well I don't think about that any more. I just think that I enjoy what I do and I feel good and that's it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports