May 2, 2021
K. MUCHOVA/N. Osaka
6-4, 3-6, 6-1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Naomi paid you a compliment just a short while ago saying that she appreciated your ability to move on clay so well. I wanted to find out from you how important movement is playing on this kind of surface and why it is that you seem to thrive on clay.
KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Yeah, well, I think in general movement is very important when you play tennis, but it's a bit specific on the clay, obviously with the sliding and everything.
But, you know, in Czech since kid I was actually practicing on clay, so I'm kind of used to it. Yeah, now we play more on hard court, but I always look forward to play on clay and I like to slide and all these things. Yeah, it's kind of natural for me.
Q. This season you seem to be thriving against top-10 competition. You have beaten Naomi, Ash Barty, Karolina Pliskova. Is there anything in particular that you do any differently when you face top competition? How do you maintain such a great mindset in doing so?
KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Well, I'm working on it (smiling). I think I'm getting better each match. Yeah, it's a constant work.
It's not specific preparation if I play top-10 player or top-20 or top-50 player. It's usually very similar, but yeah, I'm just trying to prepare as much as I can and as best I can, and then I just try to play my best on the court.
Q. How are you feeling physically? Seems like you looked pretty well out there today against Naomi. Are you in good shape finally?
KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Finally (smiling). Well, I'm getting there. I'm still not 100%, I would say, but yeah, it was a little bit tough after struggling with some muscle problems after Australian Open.
Yeah, I'm getting used to play again matches match by match and regenerate better and recover better. So, yeah, I feel like I'm close, I'm getting there to be in the best shape to play in and to play my 100%, yeah.
Q. I was wondering if you could just talk about the time that you have spent away rehabbing and getting your body back to where you wanted it to be after the Australian Open. How frustrating, I suppose, was it for you to have that great result and then kind of have to be sidelined? Or was it actually a good thing to kind of be able to process it all and kind of gear up slowly for the clay season?
KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Yeah, from the start I was actually fine to have a little break, because I was away from, yeah, from the New Year's, and then I came back on end of February, so it was nice to have some break.
It was a little frustrating, because the injury was pretty big and I couldn't do much because I had the belly tear, and you can't run, you can do not many things. So I didn't really do much all those days. It was healing slowly.
So what I was doing was doing a lot of rehab. I went to Canary Islands to my physio, and we did some program to change a bit and don't stay all the time in Czech where is the cold weather and everything.
I tried to do everything to recover as soon as possible, and, yeah, I'm happy I can play again now.
Q. Given all of that and given what you just said that you're still working your way to getting to 100% physically, how surprising is today's result to you?
KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Today's result?
Q. Yeah. Does it surprise you at all that you were able to, you know, in your third match back from injury beat the world No. 2?
KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Hmm. I wouldn't say surprising. I definitely appreciate it and it was tough match today, but we had some preparation. I was ready to play with all I had today and to use all the weapons I could and with what I can.
Yeah, I'm definitely happy it worked out today.
Q. In terms of the game plan of playing Naomi on clay, when you stepped out on court, what were you kind of looking to do to get the win tactically today?
KAROLINA MUCHOVA: Well, I was trying to move her as much as possible. That was the tactic. Yeah, it sounds easy like that, but, you know, she's playing really fast so it's not that easy on the court.
In the second set especially she started to be very aggressive. Yeah, I got back with what I did in the first set in the third set, and again, tried to move her left, right, dropshots but still in a fast way. In the third set, yeah, it went my way.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports