Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Day 2 Action: Jelena Ostapenko
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about your form this year, how you’re feeling coming into the tournament, what you expect out of yourself here?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Yeah, it was not easy this season, especially finishing last year as a top 10. So it’s a little bit harder because most of the matches I’m, like, a favorite in the matches. But I think it was not bad. I had a lot of good matches. I mean, not last week. I won doubles, I’m really happy about it. In singles I would prefer to play better. I came from Fed Cup, all those emotions. We qualified for World Group, so that was great. I had a couple of more days to prepare for the Dubai tournament. I feel good now.
Q. Fed Cup week, you played young girl from Serbia, Olga Danilovic.
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I didn’t play her, no.
Q. I think doubles. What do you think about her?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I think she was good in juniors. Of course, she’s still a junior. You can see that, like how she’s playing, up and down. But I think she can play well. She hits the ball very, very big.
Q. On a scale from 5 to 10, what do you think?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, I’m not going to say that. I think she can play well.
Q. Compared to maybe three years ago when Serena was dominating, the top spot in the ranking did not look like it would pass to anyone else. Compared to that, now any of the top 10 look like they can go ahead and win any tournament. Do you think, as a younger player, that kind of situation is better, or do you like it where all the top 10, 20 players are so close to each other?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, it’s hard to say for me. Of course, Serena is an amazing player, such a great champion. There are very few players like her that can be No. 1 for, I don’t know, years. Now, yeah, it’s true there’s a situation, like last year six times I think changed the world No. 1. It shows the level in top 10 is pretty similar. Anyone can take that spot and play well.
Q. For a player coming back from injury, or pregnancy in Serena’s case, do you think it’s tougher now for them to break back to that level, Serena, Maria, Vika, compared to when you had one player playing at that level?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: Serena is such a talented player. I think when she will come back. She will still be at the top. When I played exhibition against her, I was very surprised. She just had a baby four months ago, but she played unbelievable, such a talented player. I think she will be at the top very soon.
Q. Do you feel good enough, looking at the year ahead, to replicate what you did at the French Open, then the three remaining majors this year?
JELENA OSTAPENKO: I mean, I did not bad in Australia. I made third round. Was a tough match. Of
course, losing is not great, but I did my best. Hopefully the other three I can play well. I will prepare very well for the French Open because I have to defend the title.