August 30, 2022
New York, New York, USA
B. BENCIC/A. Petkovic
6-2, 4-6, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Can you just go through the match, give us your thoughts on how you played, winning round one.
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, it was a very tough match. It ended up being very complicated. I thought the conditions today were very windy. With the heat, it was a little bit weird.
But I think the match ended up being very tight and very interesting to watch, of course.
Well, it being Andrea's last match, it was also quite a moment for her, for sure. I think in the end I also got very emotional for her because I think she just had a great career. I think it was really a super nice match.
Yeah, I really felt emotional in the end.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about when you were hugging her at the end, how that felt. Is it difficult in a match knowing if you beat that person, you're sending them into retirement?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I could already see when she was walking up to me, she had tears in her eyes, she was crying.
Of course in this moment you also realize what a big moment is for her. Yeah, the hug felt very good because, of course, I wanted to make it as nice as possible for Andrea. I think the fans did, for sure. They were, like, chanting and cheering for her. It definitely was a very nice moment, which she deserved. She played amazing today and throughout her whole career.
I felt like for sure she felt a relief, maybe sadness, I'm not sure. In this moment I just tried to make it nice for her.
Q. She has a very fun personality. For us, she was always so open. What was it like sharing a locker room with her?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, definitely, she's really a nice person. Since I'm on the tour, when I was really young coming up, she was one of the players that was very nice to me when I was, like, unknown still. I really appreciate that.
She's also one of the fairest players. Yeah, as you said, the funniest. She has the coolest jokes, very nice humor. I feel like she will be for sure missed on the tour because I think she was a big character.
Q. Talking through the match itself, how you had to navigate it. You mentioned the tricky conditions. What do you think was the key?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I mean, it was tough. I just really tried to play my game. Of course, is one side, but in the other side, the wind, it makes everything more complicated. You cannot really, like, go for your shots. You're not really sure where to position your feet and everything.
Of course, I tried to be in a way aggressive, but in the other way to put the ball into the court. Then she was pushing me. I realized I was too far behind the baseline, running and retrieving, which is not my game.
Then I think in the end, I don't know, I got into this kind of flow feeling that sometimes happens to me when I get angry (smiling). I was very happy in the end. In these tight moments, I was really there and I played a really good last two games.
Yeah, in this moment just your brain stops and your body's just doing the automatism with this functioning. I'm very happy with how that went but there's a lot to improve, for sure.
Q. It's obviously a unique Grand Slam, a lot of emotions while you're at the same time you're trying to compete, things with Serena, now with Andrea. What has it been like the last few days trying to prepare for your favorite slam and where you've played so well?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, well, I mean, it's for sure I was watching Serena last night. It's really amazing. I'm, like, following everything, watching tennis all the day. You just see the results.
I think we are as excited as you guys are when it's Monday, the first Monday from the slam, so many matches to watch, so many results to see.
I mean, it's very busy, of course. A lot of fans and everything. But in a way I really like it here. I love the energy. I think either a person feels like it's taking away their energy, some people feel like it gives them energy. So I believe it's giving me the energy.
Yeah, I'm just really happy to be here. It's the slam I play the best. I'm super happy I won today. I kind of escaped the loss a little bit. So it's very relieving feeling and I hope to go further.
Q. Do you ever look back at the first time you beat Serena, what it felt like at the time, what that day was like for you? Was it kind of a milestone thing for you or...
BELINDA BENCIC: I mean, the emotion were huge. Of course, I mean, I was 18 years old. I got to play Serena Williams already a couple of times before.
First time I won the set, I was really pumped up to at least have won a set. I eventually won the match. It was big emotions. I still have it really clearly in my mind. I think for sure it's still one of the biggest wins I ever had.
I mean, I'm very proud to say that I managed to beat her. But still, I mean, I think now that it's kind of ending, I feel like more and more I realize, like, how big this moment is and how much she's done, how big she is.
Sometimes you're in the moment. Oh, yeah, there is Serena Williams. But in the other side, you're like, Okay, well, there is Serena Williams. It's crazy.
I think, yeah, the atmosphere yesterday was unbelievable. I only watched in TV. I wish I would be there. But was for sure a moment. Maybe will be even bigger on Wednesday.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports