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January 21, 2023

Lin Zhu

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

L. ZHU/M. Sakkari

7-6, 1-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Welcome, everyone, to the press conference for Zhu Lin. I'll start with the first question, and then we will start with English questions and then move to national language. Firstly, congratulations. An amazing victory. Just talk us through your emotions right now.

LIN ZHU: I'm so happy right now. I cannot describe how I feel right now. I mean, it was, like, really, really tough match. Not only physically, but also mentally.

She's a fighter. She never gave up even -- I mean, she's got to be reason to be a top 10. Today I just keep pushing, keep being aggressive and play my tennis and keep believing in myself. Yeah, I'm happy I did it.

Q. Zhu Lin, just on the match today, when she started to come back in that third set, it seemed like she had maybe stabilized her game a little bit. What were you telling yourself at 4-4 when things started to get tight?

LIN ZHU: I just keep telling myself, it's just one break and then I need to, like, put more for serving and be aggressive, trust myself. That's all I tell myself and be relaxed. Enjoy the stadium. Enjoy the crowd. That's it (laughing).

Q. It's an easy thing to say. It's a very difficult thing to do to stay relaxed in that moment. That lob that you hit to break effectively, I mean, did you think that ball was going in, out, no idea?

LIN ZHU: I didn't look (laughing). I just keep running, yeah.

Q. What does this win mean to you?

LIN ZHU: It means a lot. I mean, like, make me believe that I can, like, play at this level and I can be player like her.

I mean, it took me a long way to get here, and so that's why I'm so emotional tonight. This is not the end. Yeah, let's keep going (laughing).

Q. Speaking of it taking long for you to get here, I think many people maybe eight years ago thought this moment would be coming then, you know, back when you were in your early 20s. Can you talk a little bit about the difficult journey from then to now?

LIN ZHU: There was a lot up and downs. Even sometimes I think about maybe I'm not good enough for tennis. I think about retire sometimes.

But my family, my friends, they always, like, talk to me. They believe I can be a better player, so they pushing me every day to become a better person. So I'm really appreciating.

Q. You have been putting together a string of great results. This is not necessarily coming out of nowhere. You know, the start of the season and end of last season as well with wins. At what point in the last six months did you start to believe that this was possible?

LIN ZHU: Last year in Guadalajara, like I told you, against Kasatkina. After that match I start to believe in myself. Like, I need to be more aggressive and believe. I mean, that's so important in tennis. Sometimes just click and change everything, yeah.

Q. I know you just got off the court and you were celebrating, but I have to ask about your next match against Azarenka, a great champion. Can you talk about what your memories are of her as a player watching her and then what you feel like is going to be the key to winning?

LIN ZHU: I mean, I haven't looked the draw. I never look the draw, so I don't know who I play next round (laughing).

Yeah, she's a great champion. She's a great player. I mean, she won two time here, so it's going to be a very tough match for me. I just keep playing like I played today and trust myself, enjoy the match. Who knows (laughing)?

Q. You mentioned on court that it's Chinese New Year's Eve, and you said some words in Chinese. I'm wondering what it means to you to pull off a result like this on this day --

LIN ZHU: Chinese New Year, it means a lot to us, and it's also very important to get victory tonight. It's, like, very long match.

I really hope I have friends and family back in China watching me from TV, so I'm really happy I can win this match (laughing).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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