January 3, 2022
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Q. How do you feel to be in Melbourne and ahead of this summer of tennis?
JESSICA PEGULA: Really excited. Obviously this is where I had a lot of success starting last time I was here, so yeah, definitely happy to be back. A lot of good memories and good conditions and everything, and a little less strict this year, which is nice. Yeah, I'm excited.
Q. Obviously you're returning to a really successful setting here in Melbourne. Can you talk about how your run here set up your year in 2021?
JESSICA PEGULA: Yes. I had a very good year obviously after my great result here. I think it just boosted me, gave me a lot of confidence to start the year. A lot of people don't always start the year fresh or are not used to playing or competing, so I think it was kind of the perfect storm in a way where it just gave me a lot of confidence.
I'm really glad that I was able to take that and kind of just build off of that instead of kind of maybe go the other way, where you have a good result and you feel more pressure or something like that. I definitely think I used it in the best way and went on to have an amazing year.
Q. Can you talk about what you like about being here?
JESSICA PEGULA: Well, it's nice coming here in the summer, especially when it's winter back home, so it's nice to mix that up.
I don't know, I like it because the people are really nice, and I feel like everyone is always in a good mood. Everyone is always happy, super active, and obviously can't go wrong with the facilities. Everything keeps getting nicer and better every single year we come, which is amazing. So it definitely makes you want to be here. You feel good when you're here, and that obviously makes the long trip, at least for me, the long trip worth it, and it's nice to be here and play for two or three weeks, and it's just a great setup for practice and stuff like that, too. Really no negatives at all.
Q. Coming off your best season, what goals have you set this year?
JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, it's interesting. Obviously wasn't in this position last year, so I definitely think I've readjusted goals, but I think definitely just to keep improving every day. I know this year is going to be a lot different, a lot more different challenges where maybe I'm not so much the underdog. Maybe there's some more pressure technically. But I think my goal is just to not worry about that, just to try to keep getting better every day. Everyone at this level is really good.
Obviously I think I want to keep getting my ranking better but also realizing that it's tough to move up at the spot where I'm in. So I just really want to keep improving and going deep in the big tournaments.
Q. A question about your preparations and things like that and being able to decompress from 2021. When did you start getting back into things, and how do you feel? Was it too short? Did it feel like it was kind of similar to your typical preparations? What did it feel like?
JESSICA PEGULA: It was a little different in the way where I played Indian Wells and then I got married, which was awesome. I wasn't planning to end my year at the wedding but I kind of did because I ended up getting COVID and was sick and was out for a couple weeks. So that was definitely an interesting kind of turn in my off-season. But I had enough time where it wasn't that big of a deal.
I think it was actually great. I think I had a little bit more time to focus on stuff physically, just a couple little nagging injuries or something that were bothering me last year I think I was able to clear up, and I started hitting two or three weeks before Christmas and took a few days for Christmas and then flew here.
It was hot here the first few days, which took a little adjustment, but it's cooled down, which is a lot nicer today. But nothing different. I think I've had maybe a little bit more time than I usually do following Indian Wells. But it was nice. It was nice to decompress after a great year but a hectic one, and it feels weird being back. It feels like it was a really long year but it flew by so fast in the same way, but happy to be back.
Q. Kind of a question on the decompressing and reflecting on last season. Did anything you did last year surprise you? What was the most surprising thing about what you accomplished in 2021?
JESSICA PEGULA: I don't know. It's not that I didn't think I could have the results that I did. I don't know, it's weird. I think I always knew that I could. It was just kind of like, when is it going to happen. So I think that was -- it was just nice to see it come, and like I told the other journalists here, I think I was a little surprised how consistent I was able to be all year, especially following a big result here last year. You see a lot of people kind of maybe not do that well for a few weeks or a few months or whatever and they kind of get back into their groove again. But to me I think I was able to really take it and run with it.
I think I surprised myself a little bit with just my mindset, like the shift that all of a sudden I kind of shifted to, okay, I'm not really getting the results, I'm not sure, to all of a sudden, okay, I know I can win and go deep in these tournaments. I think that clicked really fast for me.
Again, it was always in my head, but I think all of a sudden the certainty of it I think surprised me, how quick it came on I would say.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports