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October 13, 2021

Jelena Ostapenko

Press Conference


6-4, 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Can you walk us through your match today.

JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, it was little bit up and down I played today. But I think I started the match really well and then couldn't finish the first set that quick. It was a little bit up and down.

But I'm really glad I won the match. In deciding moment, like when I was losing 3-1 in the third set, I started to play so much better, raise the level up and just won the match.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had breakpoints in the third set, it was a tough comeback. What did you think made the difference?

JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think at that moment I just started to play really well, like much better. I raised my level. I think from 1-3 down, Love-40, I played like a top player. Before I was rushing too much, making some unforced errors not in the right moments.

Yeah, like when I spoke with my coach and my mom, they told me that I was playing so much better when I was down. If I play like that when I'm up or the score is just like the same - how you say - even, then it will make such a big difference.

Yeah, I'm really glad that I won the match.

Q. You were getting fired up in the third set, c'mons. How much did you feel that helped as well?

JELENA OSTAPENKO: I was just trying to kind of motivate myself and to fight for every point. With those c'mons, I think I was getting back into the game. I felt like it was a little bit late when we played. Like maybe I was not used to it.

Yeah, I felt like I need to - how you say - fire myself up, yeah, have some emotions and that will help me. I think that did help me.

Q. You started the match well, 5-1 up in 20 minutes. What shifted in the match to make it closer?

JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think from 5-1 I just stepped a little bit back and I was not that aggressive, and also maybe missed some balls, kind of gave her the opportunity to play.

If I just was playing the same like until 5-1, I think I could close the set a little bit easier than 6-4. Yeah, I felt like I was rushing a little bit too much and making some, like, stupid errors.

Then, of course, I close it at 6-4. Also in the second set I had so many opportunities to close it in two sets. I felt like I was rushing, just doing some wrong things, choosing some wrong shots maybe.

The third set, like from 3-1 down, Love-40, I think I played really, really well. I did maybe just a couple of mistakes.

Q. You play Vika next. What do you make of the matchup?

JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, she's a great player. She's such a champion, a great fighter I think. Both of us are great fighters. It's going to be an interesting match.

Of course, I just have to play my game. I'm more focused on my game. Of course, she's very consistent. It's going to be hard. But if I play my game and choose the right shots, I will be consistent, I think it will be very interesting match.

Q. What does it mean to make the semifinals of Indian Wells? Your first WTA 1000 semifinal since Miami three years ago.

JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, it's really great because especially after I couldn't play US Open, I was really sad about it because I was in such a great form before. I think it's another great opportunity because it's a big tournament.

Yeah, I just enjoy it. It's last couple of tournaments this season. I'm just going to try to enjoy it as much as possible.

But I honestly feel like I can continue the season much longer, but there are not many tournaments left. Most of the players are very tired, but I don't feel like that. I'm kind of feeling very fresh.

Q. Sounds weird to say, I don't know how long you weren't able to practice, do you think that rest is helping you? Not rest, but...

JELENA OSTAPENKO: It sounds funny but I didn't feel anything. I was, like, doing bike in my room, trying to exercise as much as I can. I mean, obviously I was so bored it was really hard mentally to be in the room for 10 days. I feel like I used it as the right time.

I played in Luxembourg final. I practiced obviously three, four days before the tournament. Played the final. I think my head was maybe fresh and rested, yeah. Maybe it even helped. It's a pity it didn't happen at big tournament like US Open.

Q. Other than biking, what kept you sane?

JELENA OSTAPENKO: I was doing the Bosu, this balance thing, then some weights, elastic bands, I don't know, sit-ups, whatever I could do. The room was so small so there was not that much room. I was doing bike at least one hour each day. It was boring, but there was not much that I could do in my room.

Q. Anything not fitness related? Reading? Movies?

JELENA OSTAPENKO: Honestly, it was funny because I didn't watch any movies at all during that time. No, it sounds funny, but I was looking online shopping stuff. I didn't buy much. Every day I was sitting and looking nice stuff. At the end of the day I didn't buy anything. Just spending my time.

Q. Who is your favorite player to watch?

JELENA OSTAPENKO: You mean now or before also?

Q. Now and before. Up to you.

JELENA OSTAPENKO: Now it's hard to say because I'm playing myself. I'm not really watching anyone specific.

Before, of course, Serena. I loved the way she played. I mean, she's still playing now. Yeah, she was like my idol I think. She was the one I was looking up. She was playing very aggressive. It was very nice and entertaining to watch her. She has, like, a lot of emotions when she plays.

Q. You're a powerful player. When you see the other kind of players who play with slice, touch, feel, do you enjoy watching that or let's just go for it?

JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, it depends. I don't know, it's hard to say. There is some nice and interesting matches to watch when players are playing very different, like, as you said, slices, I don't know, some dropshots, changing the pace and stuff.

But probably the closer to me is aggressive tennis.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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