Tennis' leading expert? Data. Let's build a Smarter Planet.Find Tickets Online at ticketmaster

An Interview With: Ekaterina Makarova

Monday, September 1, 2014

Q. Second straight Grand Slam quarterfinal this summer. To what do you attribute this great run and form?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, I'm feeling pretty good. I don't know. I'm just actually enjoying to go out there, fight. I'm really enjoying my game now. I'm feeling good physically, technically, and really happy that I'm in quarter again.

Q. What was it like playing in the heat and humidity?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Yeah, today was really tough condition definitely. So humid, and sometimes I think because of that the game was going like up and down. Against Bouchard it's always tough because she's running good. She's also really -- like physically she's hard. So I think it was really good match, and I'm really happy that in the end of the first and the second set I was a little bit more aggressive.

Q. What went through your mind when you thought she took an injury timeout or a medical timeout in the second set?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, actually, I thought, thanks (smiling), because I also was tired. It was really help for me also because I had some time to recover and also to use some ice bags. It was actually kind of good medical timeout.

Q. Would you like to have gotten iced down like she did?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Yeah. I'm using all the changeover the ice bag.

Q. You're also very successful in doubles. What aspect in doubles do you translate into your singles game?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, doubles, we play with Elena long time already, so it's kind of, I don't know. We are really good friends and we going really enjoy to go out there. It's a little bit fun, yeah, for me, and I have some chance to practice some returns, some serve. Also, I'm like thinking how to practice something for singles. Sometimes volleys, you know, because in singles also I need to go more forward sometimes. It's really helping me with the volleys from doubles. So we enjoying to play doubles. We really want to qualify to Singapore. It's a great tournament. We have been there last year and we really love this atmosphere, so we really want to go this year again.

Q. There have been a lot of different women who reached quarterfinals at all four Grand Slam events this year. What does that say about the women's game and the state of the women's game right now?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, I think now it's everyone is here that we're kind of the same, yeah? Everyone is playing great tennis, I don't know, great physically; also staying in the court. I think now actually can win everyone the Grand Slam. I don't think so maybe like before, yeah, was just two really great stars. Now you can beat everyone.

Q. You have had some big wins against top 10 players in slams before. Do you approach those matches kind of any differently than you do other matches?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: You mean in Grand Slam?

Q. Yes.

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I don't know why it happened in Grand Slams different than other tournaments. Maybe I have more motivation in Grand Slam and it's different tournament for me like for everyone, I think, yeah? Also like for Olympics games also really different for me. So sometimes maybe on the smaller tournament I don't have that motivation or, you know, that feeling that I have in the Grand Slam. So that's why a lot of great players, yeah, I can beat.

Q. You were the last Russian player left in the draw in last two majors; you talked about the Olympics. How important do you feel about representing your country being the last Russian left in the US Open?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, that's really important for me. I'm so patriotic. I'm always free to play Fed Cup, and so many matches I played already. Actually, I'm happy and not really happy that I'm the last one, because we have so many players and it's so bad that the girls lost a little bit before. But, yeah, for Olympics and other tournaments, I don't know, it's a great feeling for me now.

Q. Do you get nervous before matches? And if you do, how do you control those nerves? Do you have anything like music or food or anything that helps you control the nerves?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, of course I think everyone is nervous, and it's normal, because you want to go there, win. If you don't nervous is kind of you don't care, yeah? So of course I'm nervous a little bit. Sometimes more; sometimes less. But all the time when I'm nervous, maybe more than normal, I'm all the time try to speak with my coach about this. Like just to talk, you know. And then this situation she told me some things and this situation just let it go, you know.

Q. Doubles tomorrow. You'll be playing doubles against the Williams sisters. Could you give us an idea of what you think might be key in that match? Are you looking forward to playing them or face somebody else instead?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, of course I'm looking forward. I don't have any other choice to play against someone else (smiling). They are of course great team and they won so much Grand Slams. We actually beat them with Elena in Dubai. It was a good match. So I think with them we need to serve and return good, you know, and try to be aggressive a little bit more in the net than they are.

Q. You have had a lot of success in doubles. Does that also help with the mental aspect going into your singles, knowing you have won a Grand Slam in doubles? Does that translate at all?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I don't think so. It's just -- yeah, it's different situation, doubles and singles. Yeah, so you are double there and you can help or Elena can help me, and it's all the time easier with the nerves than in the singles.

Q. Have you gotten any congratulations messages from any of the other Russian players now that you made the quarterfinals?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I didn't receive it yet, but normally, actually, yeah, some girls with who I am a good friend, they are sending the messages, yeah. Like Svetlana Kuznetsova all the time sending me.

Q. You have to be so busy playing singles and doubles at a Grand Slam. Do you get a chance to explore New York at all or something you have been able to do in the past?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: Well, this year, actually, yeah, we didn't have any time because I played kind of late every day. Just first day maybe when we just came from New Haven and we went to some shopping on Fifth Avenue for couple hours. After that I didn't have a chance. But definitely, yeah, I really like New York and all this atmosphere and Manhattan. So after I will definitely take one day and go somewhere.

Q. You have been becoming more and more consistent every year. Not just some sporadically great week, but quarters, quarters, so on. Do you like the way you're treated by the media? Would you like to be more sort of in the spotlight like certain stars, or you like to be in the shadow? What is your attitude? Do you think that someone is not considering you enough or not?

EKATERINA MAKAROVA: I think I prefer to stay in the shade (smiling). No, I don't want to say that I don't like it. Of course it's all the time nice to hear, yeah, from someone, some congrats. But I'm kind of, yeah, want to stay in my world maybe. I don't want to be so, I don't know. It's just my personal thing. Yeah.

Comments