Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. The last time in Brisbane, you had the match points, and she ended up winning. Did that pop in your mind at all, give you extra motivation?
DARIA KASATKINA: My first set points on the tiebreak, I was serving, and the picture from Brisbane last year I had in front of my face. Just I was smiling inside. I look at my brother because I think he also knew I going to remind this thing.
Yeah, it was special match, for sure.
Q. Why did you win the match tonight?
DARIA KASATKINA: Who knows. He knows (looking up to God). When you’re winning from match points, you don’t know why.
I was just trying to fight for every ball because Garbine, she’s playing unbelievable. She’s very tough opponent. She’s hitting so hard, playing so fast. I was just trying to do whatever I could.
Q. You’ve beaten some big players in your time. You’ve beaten Kerber. How does that rate? Biggest win in your career?
DARIA KASATKINA: I don’t know. Actually few times I beat No. 1 in the world. I don’t know. I never put attention on it, like what was my most winning match.
I’m just playing. I’m trying to win every match. I really don’t mind if it was the best match of my life or not.
Q. How tired do you feel? You’ve done this twice now.
DARIA KASATKINA: Good question. Actually, before the match I was really, really tired. When you’re going on court, adrenaline is coming, and you just can forget about it. You start to run, blood start to run into your body, that’s it. You’re just focused on every ball. The tired is somewhere, going somewhere, yeah.
Q. Is that something you can use going into the final, the adrenaline and confidence from this match?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yes, of course. It’s already final, so I have to put, like, everything what left into my body into this match. I hope I will.
Q. The way you read the game, did that help you today?
DARIA KASATKINA: Yes, of course. It always helps against the big hitters. Sometimes you cannot react, and the ball is so fast, you have to make decision where to run, like not even one second (snapping fingers).
I think I was reading the game really good today. It helps me really.
Q. What are you most pleased about with the way you played today?
DARIA KASATKINA: The fighting spirit, of course. Some things I was not able to do. Sometimes my forehand was not working, and the backhand I was pushing today. The fighting spirit made the difference, I think.
Q. You’re having a good February, with St. Petersburg and here. Why are you playing better at the moment?
DARIA KASATKINA: The hard work pays off. I think I didn’t have the good, like, beginning of the season, the Australian series, yeah. But it comes here, so…
All the work pays off. That’s it. It’s the gold rule, I guess.
Q. What were your expectations this week before the tournament began?
DARIA KASATKINA: There was no expectation at all because I injured my neck in Doha, so I was supposed to retire. That’s why I just came here. I said, Dasha, whatever. Like maybe I could retire first match. You never know.
I’m pretty happy I’m already in the finals.
Q. How is the neck feeling? Did you feel it at all this week?
DARIA KASATKINA: Good (knocking on wood).
Q. Any chance you had a look at the stats or had a talk with your coach regarding her backhand?
DARIA KASATKINA: No, absolutely no. We didn’t have this kind of conversation before the match. We just talking about other things. With me, this kind of statistic doesn’t work because I start to think too much. Just whatever, trying to put ball on the other side, on the ‘worst’ side.
Yeah, we don’t speak about it any more.
Q. Talk about your two possible opponents.
DARIA KASATKINA: I don’t know. They’re both top 10. They’re both unbelievable, big fighters, achieve so many things. It’s already final. You cannot choose your opponent anyway. So whoever, I don’t mind really. They’re both very good players.
Q. You are somebody that doesn’t appear to be intimidated by a big name across the net.
DARIA KASATKINA: Sorry? Your accent is too good.
THE MODERATOR: Are you intimidated or scared?
DARIA KASATKINA: No. After winning two matches from match points, I don’t scared of anything already. Playing tiebreak every match, no, I don’t scared.