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January 5, 2022

Shelby Rogers

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Press Conference

S. ROGERS/M. Sakkari

7-6, 2-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: A big win for you. Talk us through the match, your thoughts on how you played today.

SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I thought I played really well today. It was a pretty good level to start the year, which I'm excited about. It's always fun the first tournament of the year, you're curious where your own game is at, everyone else as well. It was a great test right away.

She's a great competitor. I knew it was going to be really tough. I just tried to prepare for the best or the worst, however you want to look at it, today.

I thought I started the match really well. We both played a pretty high level in the first. I felt she just caught fire, like she couldn't miss if she wanted to. The second set got away from me a little bit. I don't know, I started the second well. We switched to new balls. They were just working for her. I don't know what it was.

I thought the third was a good level as well. I just feel that I played well in the right moments today, and that's what helped me get the win.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did it feel to get such a test like Maria so early in the season to see where your game was at?

SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I think it's a great way to start the year. That's what we want to do, is play the best players every week. I was happy to get the first-round win. Then again a really tough test, second round, but a good win. It helps me to elevate my game to play someone like that. Gives me confidence getting through it, as well. It was a great start.

But I want to keep going. I want to see what else I can do. It's so nice to be back here in Adelaide to start the year. It was a long season, a long year, but at the same time I feel like I was just here last February. So it's a very welcoming city.

Q. How are you finding the courts this year? Similar to last February?

SHELBY ROGERS: Pretty similar. They're quite quick here, which I don't mind at all. Take spin really well, so the kick serve works pretty well, too. That's great.

I feel the weather has been a little bit crazy. It was super hot last week. Now it's a bit chilly, actually raining outside now. There's a lot of variants there which affects the balls and the speed a little bit. Every day is just a new challenge right now.

Q. What was your feeling coming out of last season? What was the mentality going into your pre-season, what were the goals?

SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I mean, last year was the best season I've had so far. I took a lot of confidence from playing a full season and ending it healthy, which was huge for me. Felt really good about my body so I was able to train through pre-season without any setbacks.

I did take a little more time off than usual in the off-season, if you want to call it. That was just a choice I made for myself after a really long year. Like I said, a lot of changes, the COVID restrictions, all of these things. So mentally and physically just needed a little reset, which was great. I didn't know how it would turn out but it's nice to see it was a good choice.

Q. What did you do?

SHELBY ROGERS: I went back to Charleston for a little bit to see my family. Then just enjoyed my time at home. Went to the beach a lot, paddle boarding, played some golf, rollerblading. I always like to be outside and stay active. I read a lot. Cooking in my own kitchen is just amazing. Just enjoying a nice routine and being at home. Having a normal day, if you will, not traveling for a bit.

Q. Once you started the pre-season, did you have specific goals?

SHELBY ROGERS: Yeah, I think I definitely had a few specifics in mind. Keep the fitness up. Stay really fit so I can start the year healthy and strong again was definitely priority. Working on a few things with my serve, return, starting the points well. Then just some mindset stuff, working on the mental aspect of tennis.

Everyone is so good at this level, so how often can you trust yourself, how much can you believe in yourself when maybe other people don't. Things like this. I think that was really helpful as well. The intangibles, if you will.

Q. On court you talked about goals, wanting to get your ranking up... Is there anything more concrete or intangible that you're looking forward to trying to do in 2022?

SHELBY ROGERS: I think a good challenge is to just be a little more consistent week to week, see if I can produce solid results more often, which would be probably everyone's goal, too. Just how consistent can you be over the course of a season.

I said on court today, I'm still chasing that elusive WTA title, so that's definitely in bold letters on my goals' list.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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