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March 22, 2013

Lauren Davis


L. DAVIS/M. Keys
6‑1, 7‑5, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Congratulations.  That was very impressive.
LAUREN DAVIS:  Thank you very much.

Q.  Tell us your reactions after winning.
LAUREN DAVIS:  I'm so ecstatically happy.  I came here this morning with like no hope left that I was going to get in, because I had seen Azarenka practicing and stuff, but I just hoped and I wished and I prayed that I would get in.
And so I got a call at 10:00 a.m. saying I got in.  I was just so happy.  I didn't care if I won or lost.  I just was so grateful for the opportunity to play.

Q.  How difficult was it to quickly get ready, or were you ready just knowing you might have a chance?
LAUREN DAVIS:  No, I was ready.  I came prepared, just like the last two days, just hoping I was going to get in.  I was ready to go.

Q.  This was the last hope, right, pretty much?
LAUREN DAVIS:  Yeah, I think so.  (Smiling.)

Q.  Have you ever gotten in like that before?
LAUREN DAVIS:  I have never really signed up for lucky loser.  It's my first time.

Q.  Is it kind of unbelievable now thinking about it, the way things work out?
LAUREN DAVIS:  It really is, just because I didn't think there was any chance I was going to get in.
I was so shocked when I got the call, but I was so happy at the same time.

Q.  Pretty remarkable match.  So many ebbs and flows, twist and turns to it.  What was your assessment of how things went?
LAUREN DAVIS:¬† I played really well.¬† I had momentum at 6‑1, 3‑1, but I think I started thinking a bit too much and I let her in the door a little bit.
So I just relied on my fighting instincts to pull me through.  So I'm just really happy, yeah.

Q.  You both trained at the Evert Academy, right?
LAUREN DAVIS:  She trains at USTA and I training at Evert.  She used to train at Evert, though.  They're right next to each other.

Q.  How well do you know her?
LAUREN DAVIS:  I know her really well.  We're good friends.  I have known her for three or four years now.

Q.  You guys actually played in a final in Puerto Rico in like 2010, I think it was.  What do you recall about that?
LAUREN DAVIS:  It was a close match, very close.  It was two sets, but it was very close.  We're always so competitive and the score is always really, really close.
It's the smallest things that make a difference, so...

Q.  What are the challenges of playing her?  She obviously hits very hard her serves and her returns.
LAUREN DAVIS:  We kind of have opposite games.  I'm a grinder and good baseliner.  She likes to keep the points shorter, big serve, big forehand.  She kind of plays like a guy.
So my game plan was just to go out there and I guess exploit her backhand and hit down the line when she tries to run around the forehand and just keep balls in play.

Q.¬† When did you realize this thing is turning?¬† You know, all of a sudden she had ‑‑ I think people thought she had the match won and...
LAUREN DAVIS:  In the tiebreaker?

Q.  Yeah, in the tiebreaker.  Take us through that as you started coming back.
LAUREN DAVIS:  I was pretty tired in the third set; I'm sure she was, too.  But she played really, really well, really aggressive.  She kind of took me out of my comfort zone.
Like I said, I relied on my fighting instincts.¬† I just ‑‑when I was down 6‑3 I had a feeling that I could win it, so I asked God for strength and I ended up winning.
So I'm really happy about that.

Q.  Where are you from?
LAUREN DAVIS:  Cleveland, Ohio.

Q.¬† How nerve‑wracking was that tiebreaker?¬† You faced three match points and she had the double fault.¬† Crazy.
LAUREN DAVIS:  Yeah, it was so stressful, but in a good way.
It was really, really nerve‑wracking, and I'm sure my family and friends were about to have a heart attack, as well.
But I wanted it really, really badly, so I just kept on fighting and never gave up.  I persevered and it all paid off.

Q.  You said you watched Azarenka practicing?
LAUREN DAVIS:  Yeah, on the TV this morning.  And I saw on Twitter she was practicing yesterday, as well.

Q.  What were you thinking?  Could you tell?  Looking for any signs?
LAUREN DAVIS:  She looked perfectly fine to me.  I wasn't paying attention too much because I thought all hope was gone already.
But, yeah, I, like, love her for pulling out, so...  (smiling.)

Q.  Have you ever talked to her before?
LAUREN DAVIS:  No, but she's one of my role models.  I really, really like how she plays.

Q.  Do you know who you play next?

Q.  Do you feel like anything now is just a bonus?  You have this opportunity and you made the most of it?
LAUREN DAVIS:  Yeah, for sure.  I'm playing really well, so I'm just going to go out there and have fun and make the most out of every opportunity.

Q.  You said your family was here.  Who exactly was here from your family today?
LAUREN DAVIS:  Actually my mom just flew in last night, but not to watch the tournament.  For spring break actually.  I'm really, really happy to see my mom.  I had a lot of friends come down because I live in Fort Lauderdale.

Q.  So mom and friends?

Q.  Is this the best win of your career?

Q.  What was it?  What do you think it was?
LAUREN DAVIS:  I beat Wickmayer when she was like 20 in the world.  I never played anybody top 20 other than Stosur, though.

Q.  Have you been in this tournament before?
LAUREN DAVIS:  This is my fourth year.  All as wildcards.  This is the first year I got in on my own ranking.

Q.  I always ask everybody from around here, does it make it more special or make it easier?
LAUREN DAVIS:  This is for sure one of my favorite tournaments because all my friends get to come watch.  Miami, the city is amazing.
It's one of my favorite tournaments, yeah.  It's great.

Q.  Do you do any schooling in addition to this or no?
LAUREN DAVIS:  I graduated high school like four months ago.  I was going to start some college courses, but I don't really want to do that yet, so...

Q.  Where did you graduate from high school?
LAUREN DAVIS:  Keystone Online High School.  I went to regular high school up until I was 16.

Q.  11th grade?

Q.  You finished 10th grade?
LAUREN DAVIS:  Yeah, and then I moved to Florida and did online.

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