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January 3, 2022

Priscilla Hon

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Press Conference

P. HON/P. Kvitova

6-7, 7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Talk us through what you did really well, overall your thoughts on the match.

PRISCILLA HON: Well, I think what I did really well and what I was aiming for today was keeping a cool head and not being overwhelmed playing Petra, obviously who I've grown up watching for many years. I think just taking that out of my head and just playing the game was key for me today.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk us through your emotions now you've had time to let it all sink in.

PRISCILLA HON: Yeah, obviously it's still sinking in. But like I said on court, it's been something I've been really working on, not being scared playing these top 30 girls, actually believing I can beat them. I think last year I've been working really hard on it.

So seeing that hard work kind of pay off today, it makes me feel unreal.

Q. About 13 months ago you were still coming back from the hip injury, you were still a few months away. Where are you at now with your tennis? Do you feel like you're back to where you were in 2019 now?

PRISCILLA HON: Yeah, I think I'm getting there slowly. I think I started getting into a groove at the end of last year. Obviously the year was a bit strange. I started at French, and after Wimby my hip started hurting again, so I took maybe another five weeks, then came back after US Open.

It's been a weird year. I felt like I had momentum obviously from Wimby, then I couldn't play again. Stop again, then starting. Also when I started feeling like I was kind of getting back to where I was 2019, the year ended. It was just like I'm going back to training now.

Yeah, it's the best feeling. Obviously I have a lot more to work on, but I've worked so much on the mental side, and the mental side is paying off. The tennis will come with it.

Q. Can you give us some insights into how you go about working on the mental side.

PRISCILLA HON: Not going to say everything because I'm still trying to work on it (smiling).

I think just being present and just taking whoever you're playing down there, just don't think about what their ranking is. I mean, in tennis it's always about the ranking, it's about who you're playing, what she's ranked, what she's seeded. Just kind of taking that out of the picture. At the end of the day you're playing against the ball.

Q. January 17, a couple weeks from now, some wild card opportunities have popped up. In the back of your mind are you thinking, I hope a few people were watching that?

PRISCILLA HON: Yeah, it did pop up in my mind a couple times in my match. I'm like, No, don't even go there right now because that's not going to go well. Obviously a couple of us are still fighting for it.

Yeah, whatever happens happens. I'm in quallies with my ranking. There's always going to be good matches. Going to be positives in both situations.

Q. When we talk about this win, what it means to you, what is the biggest thing that stands out for you? Home soil? Top 20 win? What is the overwhelming sense of pride from this victory?

PRISCILLA HON: I think probably top 20 because I've struggled in the past to close out matches quite a few times. They're kind of nightmares for me when I think back to them. I've had so many opportunities over the years, and I just wasn't able to close it out, almost didn't believe that I could.

Today going into this match I had a completely different mindset. I think just getting that top 20 win is huge for me. I've never really had that issue with top hundred. But obviously top 20, top 10, it's a different ballgame. I think just getting past that in my mind.

Q. Incredible serving day for you. You only faced a couple breakpoints, broken once. In the first set you were winning 100% of your first-serve points for a while. Even though you dropped the first set, how much confidence was building as you were rolling through the service games well?

PRISCILLA HON: I knew I had to serve really well today. Obviously Petra has a big serve. I knew I wouldn't have too many looks at breaking her. I knew I just needed to focus on my service game and just see if I can break her once here and there, just make sure I focused on my serve.

Yeah, I got that done today.

Q. Talk us through the mental side over the last couple years. You were a top junior, then COVID, the hip injury. How frustrating has it been for you?

PRISCILLA HON: It's been really frustrating. Like obviously I'm still trying to get to the top hundred. My ranking has dropped. Obviously it's protected, but my ranking dropped again because of COVID. I didn't play too much. I just start again this year.

Like I said, mentally I feel a lot more ready for it. I have been getting pretty frustrated with not breaking into that top hundred the last couple years. Hopefully I can do it this year.

It is tough because when you are that close and you don't get there for a couple years in a row, it kind of gets to you. Hopefully that will turn around this year.

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