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May 20, 2022

Barbora Krejcikova

Paris, France

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Defending champion. How does it feel to be here in Paris?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: It feels amazing to be here in Paris. I'm very happy and super excited for this tournament, and I'm looking forward to do well.


Q. Just off the bat, if you could just talk through a little bit of why you haven't been able to play since February and just, yeah, the road to this moment of being able to take the court and practice and prepare for this event?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Well, thank you. I'm happy to see you, as well. Yeah, I mean, I got injured. I mean, I have problem with my elbow. Everybody knows that. I think it just happened because of the way how I played last year. I think it was just so many matches, and, you know, I felt at some point I need to rest. I mean, my body told me that I have to rest.

Yeah, I was off for quite a long time. I didn't expect it, to be honest. But, yes, I'm healthy right now. I'm here, and, yeah, it's amazing, you know, to start at the place where I won my first slam last year. So I'm looking forward to, yeah, to build up with matches and to get back to the form.

Q. When you walked through the gates here, what went through your mind?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: That it feels really good to be back. You know, I just have so many good memories for last year. Yeah, I mean, last year nobody or not even me, nobody really expected that I'm gonna win in singles and doubles. I mean, being back here and being able to play and, you know, to play such a big tournament, such a big Grand Slam again, so many nice memories from last year.

So it feels, you know, it feels great. It felt really great to -- I'm smiling, yeah.

Q. My first question is, since you won last year, you were so surprised when you won, but now when you enter these tournaments, do you enter them expecting that you can win, that you're going to play deep into the draw? I know this one is a little different because you have been injured for a while. That was my first question. The second question...

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Let me do the first one. Can we do the first one and you just ask for a second one? Otherwise I'm going to forget it.

I mean, I don't know. I mean, it's a difficult question what you just asked. I mean, you know, I find it that I don't really expect much. I don't think expecting is something good for me. I don't think that, you know, expecting myself to do well after being injured for a long time. You know, I don't really think that, yeah, as I said, expecting.

But I think that I can, you know, I can be a good opponent. I think I can play well. And even after being injured I think I had some time to recover and to practice, so I have been preparing for this.

So I believe when I start playing matches, I can, you know, I can be really dangerous again and I can do well here as well.

In general, I think, yeah, I mean, I don't know if I should expect that I'm going to be winning, but, I mean, I'm going to be winning every slam, but I think that I can do well and I can go really deep.

Q. Then the second question is: Have you rethought, given how successful you are in singles and how much tennis that now requires you to play because you are so successful in doubles how you're going to have to arrange your schedule to maybe save yourself and avoid injuries?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Yeah. Yeah, we have been thinking about it with my coach a lot during the time when I was out. I mean, I think right now I'm recharged. I think I feel well right now, so I plan to play. But, yes, we have to adjust. We have to do a different schedule.

So we are gonna plan according to that.

Q. Can you give us a couple of examples of how your life has changed over the last 12 months?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: How my life has changed. I mean, I think, you know, so far I'm a Grand Slam champion. I think that's one thing that really changed. But overall for me, I'm still the same player. I'm still playing tennis. I still love tennis. I still love to compete. I'm still looking forward for every single match that I'm playing.

I mean, maybe overall, like back home, people maybe see me different, like there is more attention, more pressure from each side. But I still feel that I can put myself back to the moment when I was like a little kid and I was just like enjoying game and I was doing something that I love. Yeah, that's it.

Q. I was at Indian Wells watching from the press box, watching some of your practice when you were there and you withdrew and were gone for months. Can you talk through what was the injury issue and what the recovery was like and how you were trying to decide when to come back and how motivating it was to try to come back for this tournament to be defending champion at a Grand Slam?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Yeah, so, it's a long story. It's a difficult long story. Yes, I got injured, and I had a problem with my elbow, which I didn't expect is going to take me away for this long.

But I think it was good. I think it was worth it to have a break after such a tough last season. I mean, right now I feel healthy, I have to knock on wood that I feel good.

Also I think mentally I'm really recharged. Yeah, I mean, I'm looking forward to come back on the tour and to get back in a good form and to play the best players.

Q. At what point I guess were you able to feel comfortable playing 100%, hitting the ball, moving before this tournament? I mean, was it a few days ago, couple weeks ago?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: I would say, I don't know, couple days ago, couple days ago, because, yeah, it took me quite long. I was hoping to play a tournament before, but we were talking about it with my coach, and, I mean, we decided it's better to prepare, to be ready for 100%, rather than playing matches before a slam.

So we took this decision, and, I mean, I was kind of like happy with that. I was like fully like committed to it.

So, I mean, then with the practices we were every single day going more and more. We were adding. And I mean, right how I feel good. Yesterday I have been practicing with Maria, which was really a very nice practice, and this was on Lenglen. And I feel really good after today. So, yeah, I'm happy with the progress.

Q. You mentioned the mental break, as well, feeling mentally recharged as you come back. Obviously nonstop play last year and the season ended quite late, short offseason but you started the year so well in Sydney and everything. I'm curious, what was the biggest benefit mentally not having to be in competition since February? What did that time give you?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: I mean, I spent a lot of time with my family. I spent, I mean, also a lot of time with my friends. I was doing something different. I was more like in a cultural stuff. Like I went to the theatre and I also met so many new people that gave me like a lot of inspiration from different part of the, you know, of the life.

So I think so far it was really good, and, I mean, yeah, like after or like month ago or something, I really started to miss tennis already.

So I was also like just doing a lot of like recovery and I was really hoping to come back as soon as possible. I'm really happy to be back, but also, I really enjoyed the time that I was able to spend home and also to get some, you know, new visions from other people.

Q. How does it feel to be No. 2? I don't know if you followed tennis and if you watched any of Iga during her incredible run she's been on the last few months?

BARBORA KREJCIKOVA: Well, it feels amazing to be No. 2, for sure. I have to be honest, I didn't watch much tennis because when I was injured I felt -- I was actually very disappointed and sad that I cannot play. So for, yeah, one-and-a-half months, I wasn't really watching tennis at all.

But then since I started playing, I started to watch tennis again, started to follow it. I mean, Iga, playing amazing. She was doing such incredible job on the court. I mean, also off the court. I think she, you know, she's also very good person. I really like to talk to her.

I mean, she deserves it, and, yeah, and I mean, I hope at some point I will get closer to her and we can maybe fight for the No. 1 spot.

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