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 24, 2024

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

2024 Women's Singles Semifinals: A. KALINSKAYA/I. Swiatek 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: We’ll go straight into questions. Who would like to start?

Q. What was going through your head in the second set when she broke you the first time you were serving for it?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: Yeah, in the beginning of the second set I didn’t think too much. I just had to play point by point. She’s a great player, so I had to stay calm and just follow the plan that I had in my mind. I had to stay aggressive and keep moving her.

Yeah, I was lucky – not lucky, I deserved it. But, yeah, I was up 5-2. I had two match points. Unfortunately didn’t go as I wish it could. I had to reset and start playing point by point.

When I finished the match, I didn’t feel like it was over because I was still mentally ready to play even if the score would be 5-All. I was just very focused.

Q. Is this week coming to you as a surprise or is it something you knew you were building towards? How are you mentally reacting to this week?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: It’s a bit surprising, for sure. I wasn’t feeling very well before the tournament. I had to play quallies. I stayed in the moment just match by match. I’m super happy to be in the final. I can’t believe it yet.

But tomorrow is just another day. I’m looking forward to play my first big final.

Q. You beat world No. 3 and now world No. 1. Does that give you extra confidence in the final?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: Of course. I’m happy about my game, happy for my team. We’re doing great. It’s a boost of confidence for the future for the whole year.

Q. I’m curious what Patricia’s advice has been to you throughout the week. What has been the key message she’s been able to impart on you?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: No, Patricia is the same. She’s super happy for me. We enjoy every day together, going to practice, warm-up. We have our routine. Nothing has changed.

Q. You said the other day that one of the key things for you was staying healthy and being able to be able to play the way you want to play. Staying healthy has been difficult in years past in terms of picking up injuries mid swing. How have you been able to start this season seemingly as fresh as you have, given how many matches you’ve played already?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: I give myself time to recover between tournaments, for sure. I balance a little bit better with working hard and recovery. I think it’s very important. That’s what helps me to stay healthy.

Q. The fact you played Jasmine in Melbourne, does that make you more confidence tomorrow or a completely separate match?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: I think it gives me confidence because I already know how she plays, so I have an idea what I need to do, what to be ready for. Yeah, I think it’s something I can think about and be more prepared.

But tomorrow is a different match. I just need to wake up and do my best.

Q. What are you proudest of so far in Dubai?


Q. Yes.

ANNA KALINSKAYA: I’m proud to be positive every single day. I’m proud that I actually enjoy playing.

Q. Was it hard to enjoy playing in the past?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: No, I enjoy everything. I enjoy practice. I enjoy competing. I love the moment when it’s difficult score. It’s a challenge. You become stronger as a player.

Yeah, maybe in the past I wouldn’t face the tough moments so much, but now I feel like I actually enjoy them. Looking forward for this challenge.

Q. Iga had a lot of errors today. In your mind how much was that due to how you were playing her? Did you sense she was off and taking advantage of it? Not asking for exact tactics, but why do you think things went your way today?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: I don’t think she had many mistakes. Maybe a few in the second set.

I didn’t give her much time to play. When you have less time, you have less confidence to hit a good shot. That’s why when you are rushing as a player, you don’t play your best shots.

Q. In terms of Jasmine, what makes her a tricky opponent or difficult opponent? What is the challenge for tomorrow?

ANNA KALINSKAYA: She runs very good. She fights every single ball. She’s very tricky. She has good hands. Of course, she has a boost of confidence I’m pretty sure. This year she’s doing great. I don’t know. She can surprise.

Q. It is interesting that two of the biggest matches of your life are against her. You could be playing anybody on tour, but you face her fourth round Australian Open and a month later in a final.

ANNA KALINSKAYA: It’s great. Like I said, I like her. She’s amazing girl. I don’t think about the final tomorrow. It’s just another match. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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