May 11, 2022
O. JABEUR/A. Tomljanovic
THE MODERATOR: Ons, another great match today. Talk us through your thoughts and also the crowd support you're getting here as well.
ONS JABEUR: To be honest with you, very different conditions. I remember how it was being to play in national tournaments when you play next to each other. You don't know if the crowd is cheering for you or they're cheering for the other match (laughter). It was crazy and very difficult at the beginning to get concentrated.
But, yeah, it's never easy to play Ajla. I knew it was going to be a physical match. I adapted from 5-3 because I was really hitting hard, but not winning. I was more defending at certain times and not playing as hard as I was playing from the beginning.
Happy that I got the win in two sets.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. The transition between Madrid and here, obviously completely different conditions. How pleased are you with how you managed to do that?
ONS JABEUR: Well, I think mentality-wise I had to adapt. I had to show that I can be one of the greatest champions. That's a step that I want to prove to myself first. Being able to adapt very fast, it was not so easy, I mean, playing two great players.
I'm getting there. I feel like I feel the ball pretty good right now. I like the conditions here. I would have preferred actually Madrid-Rome, not the other way around, because it would have been much more difficult.
I think I am adapting very well. Hopefully the next match will be much better for me.
Q. It's a lot of matches back to back to back. Do you feel at all like you are on autopilot going into each one of these days, everything is the same, or are you doing things to make it feel different and fresh?
ONS JABEUR: I'm the copilot of Iga right now (laughter).
No, I'm just trying to make things different from other matches. I think for me the most important thing is mentally that I have to be ready and physically.
But I know I have in me. I just have to believe even more that I can do it. Like I said, it's a different step for me so I'm trying to adapt as much as I can. I'm just trying to go 100% and see what's going to happen.
I know I'm taking care of myself, trying to recover very well. I don't want to get injured before French Open. I feel like I have the capacity to play good, to play long.
For now it's working pretty well. I'm keeping it for two sets. Let's see what's going to happen.
Q. You were given the center court treatment yesterday. What was your reaction when you saw the order of play?
ONS JABEUR: Yeah, well, I knew the other seeded was not playing yesterday, so...
No, but I really appreciate the gesture from the tournament to play on center court. It's really amazing to play on that court. I practiced I think once two years ago, three years ago with Venus. It was my second hit on that court.
It felt really amazing.
Q. Has Venus messaged you at all?
ONS JABEUR: No, she didn't unfortunately. But probably in her head she did. I like to think that (smiling).
I mean, yeah, she's very nice. I'm sure if I see her, she will speak to me. I really cannot wait to have her back on tour.
Q. Can you talk about your next round? We don't know who you'll play yet.
ONS JABEUR: Interesting match. As usual, I hope for my opponent to play as long as possible (smiling). Yeah, different style for both.
Definitely if I play Garbine, I just want to go for my revenge for sure. Actually would love to play Garbine, so let's see who's going to win.
Putintseva is really a difficult match. I know she can hit different kind of balls. Suits really well the clay courts.
I'm just going to go there and play my game and keep it as short as possible.
Q. I think many players will say you have the best hands and touch. What do you think of the other players?
ONS JABEUR: Best hands? I mean, Bianca has really good hands. I mean, some other players, they really have good hands but they don't want to admit it, to be honest with you. They're always there to make the ball difficult for you.
Ajla responded really well to my dropshots today. I mean, I was kind of surprised because she really touched it really good.
I know that sometimes Aryna or Paula can really make nice shots.
Who else? I mean, of course, Halep. She's really there and plays really well.
You should give me the list next time. I have hard time remembering (smiling).
Yeah, I feel like I'll go for Bianca. Bianca has really good hands and really athletic on the court. I like how she plays.
Q. What would you consider a successful tournament in Rome?
ONS JABEUR: Can I add Camila Osorio? I watched her play last time. I was like this on the gym (clapping). Really want to give her a thumb up because she's such a fighter and has really good hands. I loved the way she was making dropshot. Oh, what's going to happen? Sorry.
In Rome, I think for now I'm enjoying. I got used to titles very quick, so... For me, making it to the final will be such a great result for me. Also semis not bad, to be honest with you. I try not to be, I don't know, like put more pressure on myself but then not achieving.
For now I like the way I play. I don't know which round I am, to be honest with you. I don't want to count and see how far I am from semis or finals. I think right now semis would be great for me.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports