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March 26, 2019

Anett Kontaveit

Miami, Florida


3-6, 6-2, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was such a long match, and you seemed close to being out at many points in the third set. What was going through your mind and what kept you going?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: I was just trying to take it point by point. Yeah, like you said, I was so close to being out of there so many times.

Yeah, I just tried to keep fighting and trying to stay in there and try and still be aggressive somehow. I was trying to think more about what I have to do than about the score.

Q. Your first Premier Mandatory semifinal. You made your first Premier 5 final last fall. What does a win like this mean to you?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: Of course I'm really happy, my first semifinal in a Premier Mandatory. Yeah, it's definitely -- you know, I feel like my game is heading in the right direction.

Today probably wasn't, you know, the best match that I have ever played, but I'm so happy to be through that. I feel like I fought really well and I never gave up. I'm really, really happy with the improvements I'm making and being more positive with myself, whatever the score is, and all these little things that are getting better.

Q. You knew her pretty well. How much did that experience today help you?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: Honestly, I felt like I really just had to deal with myself today. Yeah, I wasn't, you know, feeling great from the first points, for some reason. I was quite nervous and not playing my best tennis, for sure, making so many unforced errors.

Yeah, I really just had to find my rhythm and I felt like -- I mean, I was down 4-Love in the third set, but I felt like towards the end I was starting to get more loose and playing a lot better. It was very close, but, yeah, I think, you know, I really had to deal with myself today.

Q. Where do you think some of those nerves came from? The moment? Being out on that court? Where do you think that came from?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: Tough to say. I mean, I usually love -- I love playing on stadium. I don't think it was that. It was just sort of the situation. I'm not entirely sure (smiling). I wish I could tell you exactly, but...

Q. Just between the first and second set, I mean, obviously you were able to turn it around in the second, so what do you think tactically, mentally, whatever it is, changed between the first and the second?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: I think I found my game a bit more in the second set. I was more aggressive, making more balls, making her, you know, play more balls and getting the first strike in better than I did in the first set. Yeah, I think that's the difference.

Q. Then when Nigel came down in the third set and kind of tried to encourage you and beseech something from you, can you just go through a little bit of what he said on the court and kind of -- I mean, you responded quite quickly with what he said.
ANETT KONTAVEIT: Yeah, Nigel was great. Also, in the first and the third set, he was trying to encourage me. He could tell I was a bit nervous, so he was trying to tell me what I need to do and be positive and believe in yourself.

Yeah, I think that was his message, and, yeah, I somehow managed to turn it around in the third. Still not entirely sure how, but...

Q. In the third set when he came down to speak with you, he said, you know, Please go back to doing what you were doing in the second set.

Q. When he says something like that, which to us sounds vague, because it's not, like, specific, but did you recognize what you had done well in the second set and kind of re-key in? Or I don't know. Did it register to you?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: Yeah. I mean, we have worked together for almost a year now, so I do know what he means by that. You know, there was a big difference in my game from the second set until being, like, Love-4 down in the third. So I did know what he meant by that.

Q. Then just looking ahead, we don't know who you'll face, but one is very familiar in Petra, and you've had good success against her. Can you just talk through again what it's like to play her and why you think you have played her so well?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: I mean, she's a very aggressive player. I mean, she's done incredibly well this year. She's definitely in top form.

You know, the times that I have managed to win against her -- I don't know. Is it once or twice? Twice? I have had to play my absolute best tennis.

You know, if I want to compete with her in the semifinals, if I do play her, then I'll definitely have to bring my best game.

Q. What about Ash if you play her?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: I think we played each other a few times in juniors. I do know how she's playing. She's, of course, a very good player, as well. Yeah, she's very crafty, and she has a good serve. You know, very good forehand.

It will be a very tough match either way. You know, I think they're both playing great. Yeah, I'm looking forward to the challenge, though.

Q. Players tend to do well in cities and places where they feel comfortable. What do you make of Miami as a place? How do you feel you match up with the vibe of the city?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: I have always enjoyed coming to Miami. Yeah, I think it's a great tournament. It's a great city. I do actually feel well here.

Q. Are there some things specific that you like to do here, maybe when you have a day off?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: Before the tournament, I managed to get a shopping day in, but I'm still looking forward to going for the Wynwood Walls some day. Haven't managed in the last five years, but I'm getting there one day.

Q. Anything good from shopping? Anything you want to share?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: Yeah, I bought a few pair of shoes. Yeah, that's what I can -- a dress, as well, yeah.

Q. Do you have a favorite label?
ANETT KONTAVEIT: No. I just sort of -- you know, if I like something I don't really -- it doesn't have to be a certain label.

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