January 6, 2022
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
N. OSAKA/M. Zanevska
Q. It was a very tough match this evening. How are you feeling?
MARYNA ZANEVSKA: I just finished, and I feel a little lost. But definitely not the way how I wanted to play that match, but I think later on I can take something good from this, as well.
I mean, I've seen that okay, I'm not on top, and there are reasons for that. I just need to learn lots and to get so much better if I want to get back on that court again.
Q. What were your thoughts on playing someone like Naomi on a court like rod leave arena? What was this moment like for you?
MARYNA ZANEVSKA: I'll be very honest: I was very, very, very, very nervous, just because in all my career I didn't have -- it was my first time on such a big court. I even thought, I'm not like super young, but it was my first time. I was a little impressed by the atmosphere. It was actually unbelievable, and I wish to come back there again, because the fans, they were amazing. They were like -- I didn't play well, but they were still so nice and they were cheering for me and I had some good moments there.
Overall the experience was amazing, and definitely the next time it's going to be better just at least the way how I'm going to be before the match because I've lost a little bit of energy during the day. When I woke up, the day was long of thinking how it's going to happen, what is going to happen.
I tried to get focused on things what I will need to do on my match, but that was the toughest part to go through the day.
Q. What did you think of Naomi and her game, and what were you expecting from her, and how was it different than maybe what you expected?
MARYNA ZANEVSKA: I wasn't sure what I was expecting, to be honest. But I was impressed by her power. It was really tough. She was taking me like from the beginning of the point, she was really leading and putting pressure. Usually it's me who loves to take the advantage from the beginning of the point. That's my basically game. I'm good at this. Here there's someone who doesn't allow me to do that.
That was a tough part, which shows me there's lots of work for me to do.
But yeah, her power and the way she was getting the advantage from the beginning of the point.
Q. I'm guessing you've watched her before; are there things that seem different on court in person with her across the net than maybe when you've seen her on TV or in person in the crowd, just feeling her ball or things like that that you didn't expect?
MARYNA ZANEVSKA: No, I think more or less it was quite the same. I knew how she's playing, but I just couldn't find the solutions against her today.
Q. You said I'd love to get back on court there because it was an amazing atmosphere. If you had a chance to go back on court now and play Naomi again, what would you do differently than tonight?
MARYNA ZANEVSKA: I think, yeah, when I just left the court and the first thing what I told to my coach, I told him, I would love to have a third set now or fourth set or fifth, like just give me more sets, because the down part of my match that I didn't find any solution, and I didn't even actually try to find some solution. I was just following her game.
That's the thing, like what would I do in the third set, but if I keep going to play her in her game, definitely would be the same score.
The next time I will see what I will do, but I definitely need to come up with some alteration in my game.
Q. Serve better or --
MARYNA ZANEVSKA: Yeah, I think already I have to start for myself about how I start the point and to give the higher person touch of my first serve and basically the shot after the serve. There were way too many gifts for her. I know we have Christmas today in Ukraine, but that was just maybe not the moment to give some gifts.
Q. You said it's obviously your first time on a stage like Rod Laver Arena. Naomi has played lots and lots of matches on courts like that and obviously plays big stadiums virtually every tournament she plays at this point in her career. How different is that experience of being on a stage like that? Obviously the court is the same size inside the lines, but the whole atmosphere around it, how different is that for you?
MARYNA ZANEVSKA: It is different, yeah, and I didn't have a chance even to practice on that court. You just feel very small there. You arrive and you are like -- first of all, when I arrived, I wasn't sure where my coach will sit. I started to look around and I was like, okay, calm down, calm down, you will find him, it's okay. But basically behind the baseline you can fit another tennis court. I was like, what is this? It's way too big.
There is a difference definitely, but I loved it. I really want to get back there.
Q. What do you expect from your Australian summer and from your season?
MARYNA ZANEVSKA: As I was saying at the end of the last season, now I gained basically at least for the beginning of the season the ranking to play on the big tournaments. I was just looking forward to play against top players on the big stadiums, and basically here I am the first tournament and I got this kind of opportunity.
I've earned this opportunity, but also I'm happy that I got it. This is where I'm looking forward -- I will not talk about ranking-wise because this is what I didn't do last year, and my only goal was to get better in different aspects of my mental part, physical part, tennis.
Here I'm going to -- even through this Australian summer, I'm practicing every day with different players, with different game, with different ranking-wise, and everyone is like playing really well.
It's already good for me to use this opportunity of getting better because if I want to improve in ranking, I definitely need to be much more solid in my results, but I'm going to play on the bigger tournaments means I need to beat bigger players.
That's going to be a very challenging year. It will not be easy, that's for sure. I could see today that today I was far from this level. I just want to get every time better and better and better.
Q. You said you had some fun moments in there, obviously in a tough match, a short match, and the crowd was very supportive of you and you had some good winners. What does it do for your confidence even in an overall difficult result to have moments where you do hit a winner against Naomi Osaka on Rod Laver Arena and she applauds with her racquet? Does having those flashes of things mean anything for you that you can take positives away from those moments?
MARYNA ZANEVSKA: I actually thought once, I was like wow, now even Naomi is trying to support you. It was nice moments, of course. I didn't know what to expect also from the atmosphere, from people, and I was a little bit nervous about if it doesn't go well, this match, and oh, my God, these people came to watch us, and it's quite ridiculous.
All those thoughts are going through my mind. So when I made this game, they were just like supporting and giving me some energy, that was really sweet of them. So thanks to them.
Q. You said you practice with a lot of different players and good players. Can you just name a few? And if there is one aspect that you would like to improve for next week and especially for the Australian Open, one particular aspect of your game after these two games, what would it be?
MARYNA ZANEVSKA: I just need to keep going on my consistency in my game. You don't have rights -- that's what I feel, you don't have rights for a mistake on this level. So if on slower level I'm talking about just like ITF, for example, where the player is giving you gifts. Here you just don't receive those easy mistakes. Like you need to earn to win a point.
What I'm trying to say is I need to be much more consistent in my game, like of not giving the free points to the opponent, to be much better entering the points, serve plus one, return plus one, no big mistakes. It hurts a lot here, like one mistake it costs you a game, so I always need to remember that.
And about the players, I just can't tell you like this -- I've practiced so many girls. Yeah, just all the girls who are here.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports