Jelena Ostapenko 15-01-18 interview

  • def. Schiavone 6-1 6-4

Q. It was a very good start for you in the tournament. How did you feel on court?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, actually I was playing pretty well. I started the match very, very well. Losing second set 4-1, but then I came back. I'm happy the way I played.

Q. How did you find the court? Terms of the speed, the surface, it's fast or it's slow, in your opinion?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think it's a little slower than the other courts, but I felt very comfortable on it. Obviously enjoyed to play on Rod Laver Arena.

Q. In terms of when you trained and the previous days, it's slower than the court where you have practiced the last few days?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think it's, yeah, a little slower than the practice courts.

Q. What was it like to play somebody that was French Open champion so many years earlier than you were?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Actually, I knew before the match that it's not going to be easy. She's very experienced player and she's very long time on tour.

I knew I have to play really aggressive and stay very consistent.

Q. Were you confident that you'd play well today? Obviously you hadn't had a huge number of matches coming in. Did you feel like your game was where it needed to be before you went out there?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: As I said, yeah, I'm really happy with the way I played today. I made a lot of winners and I was serving very well, holding my serve. Yeah.

Q. You started to work with Taylor. How can you describe the relationship so far? What do you like about him or if there is anything you like about the relationship with him?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, yeah, we did the preseason and we are working together. I think he's a great and very experienced coach, and he can help me with a lot of things. Yeah.

Q. What are your ambitions for this tournament?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Just to take one match at a time and play as good as I can.

Q. With today, you played in the four most important courts of the four Grand Slam tournaments. I wonder if you have any preferences for your game? Which one could be the best one, your opinion, if you have any, most important court.
JELENA OSTAPENKO: What do you mean?

Q. I wonder which center court of the four Grand Slam tournaments could be the best one for you.
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, obviously now it's probably the French Open court. It's Philippe Chatrier, because I won my biggest tournament there, and my first Grand Slam. But I really enjoy to play on all center courts. Especially when there is a lot of people watching and supporting me, I really love that feeling.

Q. Do you feel like your game is equally suited to playing on a hard court as a clay court?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, yeah. But clay court, at the French, it's very, very different. It's also very fast surface that fits my game. Here, as well, I think the hard court fits my game well. Hopefully I can do good here.

Q. This is the first year you have actually started the year as a Grand Slam champion. Did sort of the break at the end of last season before this season started, did it give you time to sort of reflect on that? And did it feel different starting a year knowing that you are a Grand Slam champion?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, last year was a great year for me, winning the French Open and playing the WTA Finals. Then I took some time off and did very good preseason. Yeah, coming here, I just want to show my best.

Q. As Sloane Stephens has just gone out of the tournament, US Open champion, she also was a first-time Grand Slam winner last year. She seems to have struggled to cope with everything that comes after winning a Grand Slam. How have you coped with, you know, the greater interest in you and, I guess, demands on your time after being a French Open champion? That's quite an adjustment to make for a young player.
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, of course it's tough, especially after winning at the age of 20. Everybody wants to beat you. You have to prepare very well for every match. But on the other side, I have nothing to lose. I already won the Grand Slam. I just enjoy every match and show my best.

Q. You don't feel like you have struggled mentally with that adjustment?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think after French I did well at Wimbledon. That gave me even more confidence. Yeah, as I did, as I said, good preseason, and now I'm ready. Looking forward to my second match here.

Q. I don't know if anyone has ever asked you, how was your reaction when you were told you would get a stamp of yourself in Latvia?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Actually, it was very, very impressive because not many athletes in Latvia get a stamp. When they told me, I was very, very happy, because I think it's a big thing if they make a stamp (smiling). Especially they made 55,000 stamps and they were sold out on the first day.

Q. Did you expect that?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, I expected it that I would be popular in my country but not, like, selling 55,000 stamps in one day.

Q. When did that stamp come out?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think it came out at the end of summer. I'm not sure.

Q. Were you home when that happened or were you away playing?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think I was home and they even presented the stamp and gave it to me, as well.