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June 2, 2017

Timea Bacsinszky

Paris, France


6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. She's a bit of a different type of player. How did you make out her game and how did you feel about her match?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Well, different player? I would say there are a couple of players which have this game like she has. So she's kind of trying to make a surprise on every point. You don't know what you're going to get, so you have to be awake every time. You cannot just relax and just wait for it to happen.

Because if you leave her play, then, I mean, I think you can be pretty quickly in a pretty bad position during the match.

I mean, when I played her in the qualifying of Oeiras in 2014 -- no, not the qualifying, second round of main draw -- yes, I qualified and she qualified too, and I beat Stosur first round. And then I was like I'm playing Jabeur and I have no clue how she plays.

Well, I had pretty good, how do you say, preparation for the match of the day, because I remember our first set was 7-5 but it was like I was leading, she was leading, everyone, both of us were leading. And then at the end I ended up winning it like 7-5. But I remembered I was really consistent, I tried to be at least more consistent than she was.

And then I think at that moment, I mean, she's a way different player right now. I think she plays really better. So do I.

But then I was lucky enough to get, like, the second set pretty easily I think 6-Love, because I think I just showed her, okay, I was there every point. And even if she was leading, I was ready to take the shots and to run on every ball. And basically I think it prepared me pretty well for today, and I think I did exactly the same.

Q. You seemed pretty sensitive about what was happening outside the court, like people standing?

Q. No, I want to know how did you cope with the group of Tunisian supporters today?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Oh, well, I think I lived something worse. It was to play the Fed Cup in Brazil in Catanduva . Middle of nowhere. 40 degrees and we had only our team cheering for us. And they had no tennis culture, so they had no clue when to cheer or not cheer. So you were missing your first serve, and then it was standing ovation.

Well, today it was a piece of cake compared to what I have experienced. So, well, playing Fed Cup probably helps a lot. Coping with that. Because, well, all the -- the whole crowd is allowed to support player A or player B. And it's the same for every tournament, every match everywhere. And especially here in Paris, which is tricky, because the crowd can be sometimes really, how do you say, they can really take position.

So they are strict as a crowd. I feel they are really -- they wait a lot from the players, which can be really good, because I think it raises the level, as well.

So anyway, I know when I'm playing in Paris that anything can happen, and I'm ready for that. I love that atmosphere. That's why we play tennis. I mean, that's also one reason, not only.

But I think I said at the same place, probably the same press conference after my third round win that if you're not ready to play on big court with big crowd, it's going to be tough. You're going to struggle quite a lot.

So this is what they expect, as well, from you, as a professional tennis player and elite player.

For myself, I know I really like that, even if they are against me -- I mean, they are not against me. You have to understand that. They are for the other player. As long as you understand that, then I think you play pretty -- I mean, more relaxed.

Q. Can you just kind of recap how you feel after the first three rounds of the tournament? Are you more comfortable now getting through those matches with the level that you're playing, how fit you feel, like more comfortable sitting now, confident, than you were at the start of the tournament?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Yeah. Well, at the beginning of the tournament, I told my pretournament press conference that I was seeking for some winning streaks. I finally got my third win in a row. Hey. Wait. Champagne. (Smiling.)

No, I'm really happy about that. So it doesn't mean -- it's just as we say in French (speaking French) so it's a still river and you're just going to float on it. No, absolutely not. But at least I know that I prepared pretty well for it even though I haven't played as many clay court matches.

I think there is something happening sometimes here on the court. I cannot really explain, but there is this fire which is all the time burning and probably is maybe pushing me a little bit more. I don't know.

But for sure it's a help, it's not a disadvantage.

But confidence-wise, definitely if you win some good wins like I did for these past three matches, it can, not only give me for this tournament but as well for the rest of the season, because for sure there is a French Open, but there is a lot more, as well, hopefully for me. And this one is not over.

So, yeah, I'm going to take every win no matter how I win, I'm going to take it. And I'm going to really have it here close by and think of these wins when I have some doubts during the year.

Q. Your opponent today, she's the first-ever Arab woman to make a third round of a Grand Slam. Just wondering if you knew that. What's it like to be part of a match that for one of you at least it's history, you know? What's it like being part of that?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Well, I mean, how do you say? In one way I can feel sorry, I mean, because she's a great person, a great player, and she deserves way more wins than only this third round.

But on the other side, I was like, I mean, I seem up for myself, as well. I'm sorry that I stopped her, I mean, yeah, her dream. I mean, but I think it's happening all year long, as well.

But I'm not really worried about her, because if she can get the motivation that she had here on this tournament on every tournament during the whole year, I think she could have an amazing level.

This is something that you don't learn that quickly. I mean, she's still young. Probably a lot of expectations, as well, on her shoulders. So people have to understand that, too. It's what she did already is pretty amazing. I mean, during her whole career. Well, I know -- know a little bit less. I knew Salima Sfar as well pretty well. We played a couple of doubles together. She's a great, great person and player, as well.

So she kind of continued Salima's legacy, as well, which is quite good. It shows women in North Africa that anything is possible, and that women are limitless, as well, and there are options, there are ways to live their dreams.

Ons for sure should be very, very proud of the person she is and of what she carries. It's a privilege. She -- yeah. But for sure this is a lot of pressure, but she should just play for herself and play for her own dreams and goals.

Q. Obviously the next round you have a very familiar opponent that you played here last year in the round of 16. What do you remember about that match except for rain? And what do you think you have to bring to the table in order to get it with a similar result as last year?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Well, the first thing I remember when you ask me the question, the first thing that came up is like the only ace I made it was on match point. And then I even couldn't believe it. I was, like, oh, my God, the balls are so heavy, I'm acing her on the last point of the match. What's happening here? Is it true?

No, but more seriously I remember the conditions were quite similar for the ones we had tonight, but I don't know if it's going to stay or not. I think I have some practice with last year's Roland Garros. But it's gonna be, anyway, different match.

I'm not saying she's a different player, but she has a different year than last year. Like this year, I mean, she's even more than inspiration. Really sometimes I'm, like, oh, my God, we're not playing in the same world. How old is she? 36? 36? I mean, the race, she's what, No. 6, 7, final of a Grand Slam already?

I mean, she's a really tough player, and I mean, she knows how to handle those big events, too. People were like, for sure, there are a lot of talks about who's favorite for the French Open and women draw. I ask myself if you guys would ask me something similar for me today or not, and I would say, I would have said, Well, favorite against Venus? Seriously, how many Grand Slams does she have? So who's the favorite?

And, I mean, I think she has been playing quite well, as well, on clay. I have seen her play. In Rome, as well, she played some solid matches. I'm for sure gonna be ready for a big battle, because it's not gonna be an easy ride.

But, I mean, I feel ready, too, and you never know. We'll see what happens.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. You know that you're strong on clay and Venus knows you're strong on clay. Don't you think that's an advantage over her?
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: I would say not necessarily. We would need to look at the year she achieved. She has a number of victories that's quite extraordinary, and she has huge experience.

Clearly this is my third year in a row where I reached this stage of the tournament. I'm going to be playing against Venus, but it's going to be a whole different match. I think I have my cards to play. It will be a tough match, whatever.

Venus on a really good day is very difficult, in any case.

But I have a few ideas. But again, I think I'm going to try and fine-tune my game play to make the right tactical choices at the right moment.

I still have a little bit of time to think about it.

Q. I don't know whether you'll tell me, but what are you going to do? Are you going to try to make her run? We know that she doesn't, is not a very good slider.
TIMEA BACSINSZKY: Can you read in my eyes? Wow, you're strong. Where is it you live? Over there in the countryside in Switzerland. Don't you have people who have the secret who read people's minds through their eyes?

No, I really don't know. I can't tell you. I think in the Grand Slam, you need to preserve your energy. Reserves. When my match is done, I switch off, and I try not to think about what's going to happen. You mustn't start doing that too early. I have just had a very long conversation about this match. Rather, I will have a long conversation about this match.

You just need to switch off a little bit. You need to keep your energy for the court. I think switching on, switching off, is something I have managed quite well. Never change a winning tactic.

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