Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 23, 2024

Anna Kalinskaya – QF Press Conference – 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

2024 Women's Singles QF: A. KALINSKAYA/C. Gauff 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
Anna Kalinskaya

THE MODERATOR: Anna, congratulations. Into the semifinals here in Dubai. Can you talk us through the match and your performance today.

ANNA KALINSKAYA: Yeah, it was a difficult match. I started a little bit not so confident. I was getting used to the surface. I didn’t get the chance to play on center court. I felt the speed of the bounce was a bit different. I couldn’t find my timing.

In the second set, I actually calmed down a little bit more and I played point by point till the end of the match. I could feel the tension, like I said on court, till the last point. She kept bringing so many balls back, so I have to stay really patient and decide which ball to go and finish the point.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk us through how big of a win this is for you.

ANNA KALINSKAYA: I don’t realize it yet, but of course it’s great feeling to win. I’m happy because it was a great match. I’m excited for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to play a lot of matches this year. Most important thing is to stay healthy physically and work and enjoy.

Q. Can you share with us how you stayed mentally strong and present in such a tough matches.

ANNA KALINSKAYA: I don’t try to think too much. I think about my shots. Doesn’t matter who is on the different side of the net. I know my strong parts, so I try to use them.

Q. Take us through the first set. You were down, then medical timeout. What was the injury? How confident are you to face the world No. 1?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: Yeah, I felt a little bit sore in the upper back. I think the treatment on court helped a bit. I’m going to see the physio now, try to recover, see how I feel tomorrow.

Q. A lot of matches already under your belt this year, and a lot of success, as well. How important was it for you, or does it feel for you, to kind of back up what happened in Melbourne? Wasn’t a one-off. Now you’re in the semifinal of a 1000. Is that important to you?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: Of course, it’s important. Every player wants to win. I’m super happy. I try to think just one day at a time and don’t think too much about what’s going to happen next tournament. Just enjoy and improve myself.

Q. What’s been the most enjoyable thing of this week so far?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: After being injured, playing a lot of matches is definitely what I enjoy because I really missed being out of tour.

Q. You mentioned on court that you played Iga in doubles.

ANNA KALINSKAYA: Yeah (smiling).

Q. Can you tell us about it? What did you learn from it, if anything?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: I think it was more than five years ago on clay. When I saw her, playing against her, I was like, She’s really good. She was making really great decisions in the doubles match. I’m not surprised she’s No. 1 because I can see already mentally she’s super strong and physically she’s super fit.

I need to be ready for tomorrow and see what I can do. But definitely excited to play against her in singles.

Q. Obviously with the points from Melbourne and now points from here, chances are you aren’t going to have to play quallies all the time going forward. You’re the fourth qualifier to make the semifinals here in Dubai. What is it about the pros and cons of having to play through qualifying to make your way through a draw?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: Yeah, playing qualifying matches is challenging, for sure. Is the best practice you can have playing in a match. It was good for me to get the rhythm. It’s not boring practice. So, yeah, I think that’s a positive thing.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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