January 17, 2023
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
E. MERTENS/G. Muguruza
3-6, 7-6, 6-1
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us. We'll begin questions in English before transferring into national language.
Elise, congratulations. Just talk us through how you found it out there today.
ELISE MERTENS: I mean, I'm very happy that I won the second set. I mean, she played a pretty solid match the first two sets. I started a little bit slow, but, you know, all credit to her too for keeping it up.
But I felt like after the first set the level was really better, I really rolled into the match. Yeah, third set I think physically she was kind of struggling with a cough or something. I was physically fine. Mentally really wanted to win.
So, yeah, a much-needed win.
Q. How does it feel to play in this heat that we have today?
ELISE MERTENS: Well, for me it's actually okay. I did a lot of fitness in preseason. Like, four hours a day. For me it was kind of okay to just keep going. I think I could play another set if it was needed.
But I just tried to focus a little bit more in the first few shots maybe, but I think she was struggling a bit more than I was, so I was kind of like, Okay, let's keep going.
Q. So what kind of strategies do you have to be able to handle it?
ELISE MERTENS: I mean, especially against such an experienced player, against the heat, but I tried to also focus on myself a little bit more. I think I did that better in the second and especially the third set. Tried to not give any points or free points.
In the first set I think I tried a little bit too much or a little less, so I didn't really find a balance. And I think after the second set I really found my balance and I really was mentally there to try to beat her.
Q. Was it something during the second half of the game that you sort of felt that you could use the heat to your advantage?
ELISE MERTENS: I think so. I think especially the third set. Second set, I mean, it was getting hotter and hotter. Personally I don't really feel the heat. I was drinking a lot of, you know, sports drinks and gummies and, I don't know, a lot of things. So I was kind of prepared for the heat today.
(Mixed English and native language.)
Q. What do you think about your form? Does this match say anything about your form going on later on in the tournament?
ELISE MERTENS: As I said in Dutch, I had a little bit of an injury, so I couldn't really practice in preseason shoulder-wise. The last week of preseason I practiced a little bit more, but no serving. So Perth came too early for me. Especially the match against Sakkari. I couldn't serve.
And then Hobart also came a little bit -- it was 70%, 75% shoulder. Now it's 95-ish. I'm trying to -- it was calculated to getting a little bit better and a lot of exercises in.
Yeah, I think I just have to analyze a little bit the match after, but try to, you know -- it gains a lot of confidence to win against such a great experienced player. So I really have to, you know, stick to it and keep that confidence.
Q. Last question. There has been a lot of talk about the Netflix series "Break Point" prior to this tournament. Have you watched any of it?
ELISE MERTENS: I haven't watched it yet (laughing).
Q. What do you think about it, and what do you think it might mean for tennis?
ELISE MERTENS: I think it's a good thing. I think it's a good thing that tennis is on Netflix. I think it will be globally watched. It's not only good for tennis. It has a little bit more attention.
Of course, tennis is already a global sport, but I haven't watched it yet. I'm going to watch it, definitely, but hopefully there's going to be some insiders just to let people know how tough and easy, I don't know, the tennis life is sometimes.
Q. If you get the question from the production team to be a part of it, would you accept it?
ELISE MERTENS: I don't know if I'm such a big name to be a part of it, but, I mean, yeah, why not? I think everybody can learn a bit from everyone, so yeah.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports