February 19, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
D. KASATKINA/M. Bouzkova
4-6, 6-2, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How does it feel to get the title here in Melbourne?
DARIA KASATKINA: Feels incredible, to be honest, yeah. The last title I won was in 2018 in October. After that I struggle for, like, almost two years. I feel really refreshed and super happy to win my title, especially here in Australia where I was not showing my best results for the past years.
Yeah, very happy about that.
Q. Talk about the struggles. What were you struggling with in the last two years? What has improved?
DARIA KASATKINA: I was struggling with a lot of things. With my game. Mentally I was having problems, like I was not confident in myself. I was losing match and everything was just going like a snowball all together. At that time I split with the coach. Things were just going down.
It took a lot of time to rebuild my game, to rebuild my confidence, to change myself. Finally I'm feeling good.
Q. Anything in particular that clicked for you this week?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, there was a match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round. It was the first set, I mean, the match was going bad for me definitely. Somehow I was able to click something in the game. I don't even understand exactly what. I just turned the pattern of the game and I won.
After the match, I felt different. I felt like something changed that day.
Q. Your reaction after winning today was very emotional. What was going through your mind?
DARIA KASATKINA: I felt like one big backpack with the stones get out from my shoulders. The feeling was just great. Also I was losing during the match. I lose the first set. It was difficult. Again, I turned the game, turned the match.
Yeah, this is special to win a title, doesn't matter how you are playing. Especially to win in three sets, it's always a special thing.
Q. It's been a big week for Russian tennis. Have you been watching the men playing?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yeah, of course I went for the match Medvedev/Rublev. Our best guys. I enjoyed. I enjoyed. I enjoy watching our guys playing because first of all they're super nice, and second of all they're showing incredible level of tennis. I'm very happy we have it now in our country.
Q. When you mentioned you had to improve your game, get your confidence back, how were you able to do it?
DARIA KASATKINA: I was working with a psychologist a lot. The whole last year I was working very particular, very consistent. Yeah, I was working with a psychologist, which helps me a lot, to be honest.
I really think especially now because the tennis is very competitive sport, it's very difficult because basically you're alone, it's not a team sport, it's very difficult. I think kids can also start work with a psychologist from a young age. It will help them for sure not to face the big problems when they're, I don't know, 18, 20, like this. It's very helpful.
I changed the approach of my practices. I'm practicing in Spain for the past two years. I'm really happy with the result, happy with the way my game is improving. Yeah, I was working on many angles of myself (smiling).
Q. What has been the biggest benefit that you have seen working with the psychologist? Without getting into specifics, what have you learned?
DARIA KASATKINA: I learn a lot. But the main thing was that I learn your confidence shouldn't depend on your results. It doesn't matter if you win or lose, it doesn't have to break your inside child. This is the main thing I learn. I think this is very important because this is true.
We are losing many matches during the year. Apparently in the best case there is few weeks where you're not losing a match. To lose one match doesn't have to kill yourself from inside, so... I think that was the main thing.
Q. You mentioned the Pavlyuchenkova match, how different you felt afterwards. Your 2018 season was notable because of how much you were fighting, the hallmark of the season. It wasn't that you weren't fighting the last two years. There was something about how you competed this week that was different. Where do you think that was?
DARIA KASATKINA: Courtney, you know? You are exactly right. I was fighting this tournament, past few weeks, in a different way. For the past two years, I mean, I was fighting. Of course, I was trying to play my best, but just something was wrong. Finally I got this habit, I don't know how even to call it, but this sense that whatever is going on on the court, I am there, I am there. I'm losing first set, I'm still there. This is the most important in tennis for me. I'm happy that I get this feeling back.
Q. Talking about today's match, talk through the match, how you saw it. Marie looked a little fatigued toward the end. Seemed like you changed your game plan after the first set.
DARIA KASATKINA: Well, finals are never easy. It's a special match. All the time it can be different.
Yeah, the first set was nervous from the both sides. Plus the weather was very difficult to play. It was super hot plus windy, which is a bit unusual. Yeah, with the nerves, it's just coming to a hurricane inside your head, which happened to me.
Yes, Marie, she spent so many hours on the court this week, she played few matches more than three hours. Yes, for sure she was a little bit more tired than me. But then she was fighting. She also has this sense of fighting for every ball. That was making this very difficult match.
I'm just happy that I was able just to win. At the end it doesn't matter how you win the final because nobody remembered the game, everyone just remember the result.
Q. Are you based in Barcelona now? Where are you?
DARIA KASATKINA: I'm practicing in Barcelona.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports