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March 29, 2021

Anastasija Sevastova

Miami, Florida, USA

Press Conference


6-1, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are you most proud of about the way you played this afternoon and fought hard and got a win to put you into the quarterfinals?

ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think overall my game was really solid. Didn't make any mistakes, any easy mistakes. Yeah, played aggressive. My forehand was very good.

Yeah, managed to hold my serve in the important moments. Yeah, the way I was playing, I could break her any time. Yeah.

Q. How have you been handling the heat and the conditions there in South Florida? Have you been able to cope with it? I know I see a lot of players, and I think I saw you today, as well, using the ice packs and putting the ice towels around your neck during the changeovers.

ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I mean, at first I think when I arrived here like the second day it was so humid and it was tough to practice on second day. But I had three days off now, so I'm actually good with the heat and I like it, playing here.

So, yeah, ice pack is like a normal procedure like to keep it cool and, yeah, I wasn't struggling that much.

Q. Are you pleased with the way that your season has gone so far? Has it met or exceeded your expectations? What would you like to be able to accomplish this season?

ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think like end of Australia, like in Adelaide I started playing better. Yeah, just freed up a bit and just like enjoying my time on the court and playing I think better tennis than the beginning of the season.

Yeah, the results are coming. So I just play more freely and enjoy it, even if it's a bubble.

Q. Wonder if you could go back to the restart of the season last summer. What was the mentality like for you? How tricky has it been for you to kind of come off that long break and get back into the swing of things, playing on tour, playing in a bubble, all this sort of stuff?

ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: It's been tricky. I think it's been tough. Last year I don't think I managed it very well last year. It was hard to -- yeah, I didn't like it.

I like playing more matches, and, yeah, we had such a long break, so I like to have matches under my belt so I feel more comfortable.

Yeah, this year, beginning of the season, I didn't want to go actually to Australia. I had some other issues at home, and somehow I just went. It didn't go well first, and then somehow I loosen up and Adelaide I start playing better.

Now I see that I'm playing better. My confidence is back. Yeah, I'm beating good players and playing close matches and, like, enjoying also like close scores and fighting for every point.

Q. In Adelaide you had that dramatic match against Jil. It was crazy. And a tough loss but a great match and a great fight. Was that really kind of a key match for you this season to kind of maybe feel things again?

ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I think the key match for me was like some doubles in Melbourne, Phillip Island Trophy or something. I started playing like so good. And, yeah, it was doubles. Somehow it progressed to Adelaide.

Yeah, I lost this match, but it was an amazing match. I saved six match points. I think it was one of the best matches this season.

Yeah, she deserved it. I think we both actually deserved to win, but there is only one winner so it was congrats to her. Yeah, I was still confident after the tournament that I was so close and I was fighting so good. Uh-huh.

Q. There have been a few players who are very accustomed or they prefer to play tournaments, right? They prefer to play matches. You seem to be one of them. I think Pliskova is one as well. On the restart there has been struggles to get that. Do you see that as a common thing in the locker room? Like Osaka doesn't need that rhythm. She just kind of jumps in and plays. Do you think that's a competitive advantage or disadvantage right now?

ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: Yeah, I think we are so used to like having a season and it's normal season. And last year wasn't that. Some players, they need these matches. Some players, they don't need. They just go and play this one, two tournaments, like Serena or Osaka.

I need that. For sure you see a lot of players having some niggles and injuries because it's tough. Yeah. Some were 14 days in hard lockdown, and we were also only practicing five hours.

Yeah, it's different and you have to get used to it and somehow like now I'm used to it. I don't complain. I just do what I can. I would like to go out in Miami and meet my best friend. She lives here. She lives like hundred meters away from the hotel.

So it's tough, yeah, but that's the rules and, yeah, just have to take it as it is and just, yeah, be glad that we can play. Now we have this tournament after tournament, so we have this possibility to do something, yeah.

Q. Looking ahead to play Svitolina, you haven't played each other a ton, a few matches here and there, but what do you think is the challenge of playing her? Based on how you're playing, how is your confidence going into that match?

ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: We had some close matches, like very close, similar maybe styles. For sure going to be long rallies, some long rallies. Yeah, I know how to play her. There are no secrets. We'll see.

I'm confident. I'm ready to see how it is, how it is playing against her in Miami. I mean, she had a tough match today, yeah. And, yeah, playing at night maybe not as much heat, just humidity.

So it's not going to affect us that much. Yeah, it's gonna be hopefully a long match and some good rallies.

Q. What does the result of making the quarterfinals in Miami mean to you right now?

ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: It means a lot, finally winning a couple of matches. Yeah, tennis is a strange sport. I came here. I wasn't fit. I had some problems with my foot. It hurt so much I couldn't move freely.

And I'm sitting now and I'm in quarters. Yeah, when you least expect. I was 5-2 down in the first round playing against Danilovic, and somehow I turned it around, and 7-6 and tiebreak, and now you're sitting quarters. So it's when you least expect it, you get something. It's funny.

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