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March 13, 2014

Flavia Pennetta


F. PENNETTA/S. Stephens
6‑4, 5‑7, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Was that a fun match to play?
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  No.  Fun?  No (smiling).  I mean, we didn't have a lot of fun today.  I think was not a nice tennis on court.  We didn't play our best tennis.
Maybe in the beginning we play much better, and in the second set one, but the third was a disaster for both of us.  I mean, I won.  I'm happy because I get through this match, but I don't have a good feeling right now.  I mean, it's normal.  Outside it's crazy now.  It's coming the wind from nowhere (smiling).
But in the other part I'm really happy because I was down 3‑Love in the third, and I fight until the last point and the match was for me today.

Q.  How did you respond in that third set?  Because you obviously lost the second set; got broken serving for it.  Did you just accept the wind and play?  Tactically what did you do?
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  I didn't accept for I think seven, eight minutes and I went 3‑Love down in nine minutes, I think.
And then I starting just to come back on the court just to play every point, and was not easy also for her to play.  I just stop and watching a little bit also the other half of the part of the court, and she was in the same situation as me, no feeling at all.  I mean, it was impossible today.

Q.  What's going through your mind?  How do you handle when it's those crazy conditions?
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  In the last game?

Q.  Yeah.
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  I was trying to just put the ball in the court (smiling), in the middle of the court.  Anyway, I was trying to play in the middle of the court, but there was no one ball was in the middle.  Was always right or left.
I mean, was not easy.  I had the first match point and I completely lost the ball when I touch it with the forehand.  Like the ball was there, and when I went for it, for her it was completely in the other part of the court.
But like I says, it was not easy.  She was in the same condition.  She didn't have a lot of feeling also during the third set, so I was trying to stay there and play and see what happen.

Q.  Do you think maybe you having a little more experienced helped you with the nerves?
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  No, I think she's already ‑‑she's 20, but she's a good player.  She have a lot of matches, important matches.  She was in the semifinal already in a Grand Slam, so you are already a big champion for me.
I mean, she's one of the best players, of course.  In the future, I think she will be one of the best, top 10, for sure.
She has everything:  unbelievable forehand; backhand; she improve a lot with the backhand in the last year; she's powerful.  She has everything.

Q.  What do you think Sloane still needs to improve to make the next step?
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  Well, sometimes she's not consistent all the time, but I think will come with the time, yeah.

Q.  When you have situations like today with that match, what is the tougher aspect?  The physical part of playing the game or the mental part?
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  Mental, completely.  It's more mental than physical, for sure.
I mean, you have to try to stay there and you don't have any feeling at all.  It's not easy to play.  You gonna play tennis, you gonna play the tennis the way you play, and you can't.  You try to do what's normally very easy for you, and everything seems so difficult.

Q.  What were you thinking when you lost those six games in a row in the second, beginning of the third?
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  How stupid I am (Laughter.)

Q.  But how did you start to get yourself back into it?
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  I just try to breathe a little bit and like I say, play point by point (smiling).
She was 3‑up in the third, but I didn't make a lot of rallies.  I didn't play‑‑ I mean, was a lot of mistakes.  So I just try to put the ball in the court, try to play every point.
She starting also to making mistake because she was not feeling anything.  With the forehand she never make so many mistakes like today.  But because the ball was moving too much, to find the right position was not that easy.

Q.  How do you describe your emotions now?  You almost seemed embarrassed by this match, but you won.
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  No embarrassed, no.  I was a little bit ‑‑upset?  No, I'm happy.  I mean, I'm happy, but I don't like to play like this.  I don't have a good feeling.
But of course I'm really happy.  I have to be.  I'm happy, because tomorrow I have a chance to play another match, to play better, to have a good feeling, so sometimes it's like this.
I think it's difficult to win these kind of match than win when you play so good.

Q.  You lost six straight games after you called your coach on court before...
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  No, was not his fault.  Was my fault (smiling).

Q.  You were about to serve for the match.  Why call the coach then?
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  Because I just was a little bit tight and I was feeling the pressure and I just need to talk with him.  I know what to do, and he just remind me what was better.  But is not his faulty if I take six games in a row.
No, it's never like this.  We are the one on the court, the one playing, so you can be upset with him.  But it's not ‑‑it's for what?  He try to help you all the time.

Q.  Do you remember another match like these conditions, some other time in your career, this match?
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  No, I don't remember.  Maybe there are a few matches where like the conditions was not nice.  In Eastbourne sometimes; Eastbourne it's really windy and sometimes that's not possible to play.
Last year we are supposed to practice with my coach and we say, Okay, it's better if we don't.  We go.

Q.  Li Na, second time you will play her this year.  Talk a little bit about her game.  What is it that she does that causes you problems?
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  Everything (smiling).  No, she play more or less like me, but she's more powerful than me.  I have to be real aggressive tomorrow to try to take the situation, but is not going to be easy.
She's won‑‑ she so good.  She play unbelievable this year.  She start in Australia in amazing way.  I play against her in quarters in Australia, but in one way was completely the match, I didn't have any chance at all.  I hope tomorrow to have a little bit of a chance.

Q.  Players say about Sloane, they say she's the fastest player.
FLAVIA PENNETTA:  She's really fast.  Sometimes it looks like she don't move, but then we just, two steps, she's on the ball.  She's really fast.  She's powerful.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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