January 3, 2022
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Q. How do you feel to be back in Australia and back in Melbourne?
ELISE MERTENS: It feels good. The new season is starting again, and always happy to come from cold Belgium to sunny Melbourne, so yeah, I have some nice memories here, too.
Q. I saw you post about your coaching change; can you talk through what was behind that decision and how it's been so far with your new coach.
ELISE MERTENS: Yeah, I think we've been coach-player together for more than five years, so kind of wanted to switch it up a little bit, you know, get a new vision, yeah, new perspective. Yeah, I chose Simon Goffin so I'm talking French, only French. That's good for me.
But yeah, I think it was important to get that switch, and yeah, let's see if it works out or not. But at the moment it's going well.
I'm still practicing at the Kim Clijsters Academy. He's there, too, so it's all good for the moment.
Q. How is your French?
ELISE MERTENS: My French is pretty good if I can say that. Of course with media I speak some French, too, and the Billie Jean King Cup and when other players and stuff is there, but now it's 100 percent French. I speak more French than Dutch.
Q. What are your expectations? How are you feeling about your game heading into the beginning of this season?
ELISE MERTENS: I mean, it hasn't been so long since the WTA finals doubles, so I just really -- was really happy to spend some time at home, to get Christmas at home, too. For five weeks I've been at home.
Yeah, I'm very excited to be back. I have some great memories here, some great wins, a title to defend. But I don't want to think about it too much. I just try to enjoy and get back in the year with hopefully a good start. But at the moment I'm feeling good. My strokes are feeling okay, too. But of course practice and matches is very different.
Q. Do you sense from a lot of players the last season was long and it feels like a much shorter off-season than usually?
ELISE MERTENS: Definitely, yes. Yeah, definitely feels like I've just been to Mexico, I've just been at Indian Wells. But it's only good that we have so many tournaments. I'd rather it be like this than just be like a couple tournaments a year.
Q. Last year you won the Gippsland Trophy. Do you feel more comfortable being in Australia and playing here now that you have that win behind you?
ELISE MERTENS: Well, I mean, it always gives you confidence when you've played on a certain type of court, and I have some good memories of the Australian Open, too, of course. I just like being here after preseason. Yeah, it's always good to be back here. I only have good memories, and hopefully I can create some more this year.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports