September 9, 2020
New York, New York, USA
V. AZARENKA/E. Mertens
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you talk through that match and also what made her a tough opponent tonight.
ELISE MERTENS: Well, I think she played very consistent. Also, you know, I tried to play aggressive, but she had everything under control. I feel like I needed to do a little bit more.
Actually the games were pretty close, but still I couldn't finish it out so the score is a little bit uneven (smiling). I mean, I didn't really play a bad match. It was just not good enough today. She played really well, no mistakes. I mean, her serve was working. Like, she came really into the match with her serve. It was very difficult to find solutions.
Q. You were continuing to battle through point by point, trying to get back into the match until the end. What were the different solutions you were trying? What do you think maybe if you could have executed better would have changed things? Or is it just too good?
ELISE MERTENS: On one hand I think she played too good today. I tried to find solutions. I think I couldn't make her, like, in trouble. I think she was pretty confident but also pretty comfortable on court. Even if she was running, she still hit the balls. She was not reaching. I couldn't get her into that reach. I tried to come to the net, it didn't work. I tried to find solutions, attack her second serve.
I wouldn't say it wasn't my day because I think I didn't do anything really wrong. I think she just did everything right.
Q. How difficult will it be for you to turn around, head to Europe and adjust to the red clay?
ELISE MERTENS: Yeah, it will be a difficult one. But tournaments are back, so I can't complain. I played a quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. I try to look at it as a positive thing. It's the only thing I can do. She was just too good today, I would say maybe one level ahead of me.
But, yeah, it's going to be a difficult switch. It's going to be a worth it switch. I'm going to try to do everything I can to be ready for that day.
Q. What do you have to do, especially now that Roland Garros has switched to the fall?
ELISE MERTENS: I think it's a mental game. Tennis is definitely a mental game. Also physically just be ready for those long matches. The sliding is back. I played in Prague, in Palermo. I know a little bit already how I can move on clay, how I do have to adjust.
I played clay to hard court, now I play hard court to clay. I can still remember a little bit how it was. I have to be physically ready. But also with the jetlag and everything it will be a bit difficult.
Q. Of all of your international colleagues who chose not to come here, do you think they have a little bit of an advantage or do you think they made a mistake?
ELISE MERTENS: It's everybody's opinion. I respect everybody if they come or not. I'm glad that I came. The US Open, everything they had to do to make us feel safe with the suites or everything else, I just felt really safe, also at the hotel. I can't really complain and I'm really happy that tennis is back.
Q. I think it was Palermo where you said if there's a tournament in a week, you would be playing it. You had success on clay and hard. What do you take out of this whole swing? Do you leave New York demoralized because of the loss or with the mindset of you played a great tournament, too good, I'm in a good position for clay, which I am very good on?
ELISE MERTENS: Thank you, yeah. I think the second thing. Palermo, I wasn't ready yet. If you look back, I mean, if today you would say that I played a finals, I played a semifinals and a quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, I would sign for that definitely.
Today, it was just a no. I just tried to remember what I did right. I think that's the most important thing because in tennis you have to move on from one day to another. This is in the past. Rome is in the future. I try to focus on that already.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports