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An Interview With: Aleksandra Krunic

Monday, September 1, 2014

Q. It was a fantastic effort out there tonight. What was the match like for you tonight? Can you just talk about your experience.

ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Yeah. Well, I didn't expect such a great effort from myself. I was pretty nervous in the first three games before I won the first game. And then, yeah, I just enjoyed the moment and I tried to stay in the moment as much as I could. It was very tough, because it was a big court and so many people. You know, Vika against me. I was once again surprised with the support of the crowd. Sometimes I felt for some moments that they were cheering louder for me than for Vika, and I really appreciate it. Yeah, I think I should be proud of myself. You know, it's too early for me to feel this whole emotions, but for sure tomorrow when I wake up, you know, when I sit with my team, when I talk with them, I will be very proud of myself. If I keep working this way, I think I can make it to the main draw of Australia, as I wanted from the beginning of the year. Yeah, it was a very great tournament for me. I got myself a chance to play against the big champions. To feel, you know, that you can compete with them on the same level. It's a big deal, and for sure gives me big motivation to keep working.

Q. Did you come here with the feeling that you could compete with the best players? What gave you the feeling that you could stand up for yourself?

ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Well, you know, I came here with the hope that first of all I can compete with the girls that have the same ranked as me. Yeah, the first goal of course was to pass the quallies. But, you know, I felt that with Madison I can play really well with a top 30 player. You know, after I won the match, for me it was an unbelievable feeling. Yeah, the match with Kvitova surprised me. I mean, I surprised myself pretty much, because, you know, I mean, I was saying to myself also after the match that, Yeah, she had a bad day; she was missing a lot. But then, you know, I watched the match once again and I pretty much made her miss. I gave her the balls that she didn't like. Yeah, I kept my focus and I stayed really calm. That's a very unusual thing for me. So I hope I keep it up that way, because there is no other way for me to compete against such a player than staying calm and staying focused.

Q. Do you have much strategy going into these particular matches against these big players, or do you rely more on instinct on how to play them?

ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Well, yeah, it's more an instinct. But, yeah, of course I got tactics from my coach. He watched her also practicing. I mean, I watched many of her matches, but, you know, I am sitting next to thing TV just watching a great champions. I don't think, Okay, she has a worse forehand or whatever. Yeah, it was more about myself. I tried to keep myself calm and focused and not to be so nervous. Because in first three games I really felt I'm so nervous I cannot hit the ball. Yeah, that was the first goal to, you know, let it all go and first of all accept that, okay, I'm nervous, but go on and hit the ball, keep hitting the ball, and it's going to go away. But I was focused more on myself than on Vika.

Q. So a lot of people got their first introduction to you tonight or this week.

ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Me also (smiling).

Q. Exactly. This is what I wanted to ask, is people are learning new things about you. What did you learn new about yourself tonight especially?

ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Well, you know, I like to talk very much, and when I talk with my friends like that are worst ranked than me, they say, Oh, my god, how do you do some things. You're 150. I'm talking really nice. I give them advices, but I never use it for myself. Some people tell me, You're so mature for your age. But then when I have to use it for me it's like I'm 10 years old. Yeah, now I think I started really using what I know also for myself and started maybe loving myself a little bit more. Yeah, I'm more mature in some situations on the court and I support myself much more, because, you know, I get the support from the crowd. But if I'm all the time giving negativity to myself, it's not going to help. I think that's the main thing that I improved and I learned about myself, that, yeah, I am much more positive and I'm much more tolerant to myself.

Q. Is that why you think, how well you played this week, it's surprising that you haven't had great results before? Is that just what you think it is, sort of the mental connections you made?

ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Well, yeah, I don't think in tennis -- especially women's tennis is much about forehand and backhand. I know everybody can hit forehand or backhand or serve. Yeah, it's more about how you get it all together. Especially the important moments like today. You know, that's why Vika is twice a Grand Slam champion and, you know, she was first in the world. Because she doesn't play the dropshot when it's deuce. Yeah, I mean, I have to work on myself, of course. Yeah. I don't know if I should be -- I cannot be disappointed that I lost against Victoria Azarenka. But I'm disappointed, you know, I let maybe my emotions a little bit more today in the important points instead of really be disciplined. But that's me and, you know, I cannot do anything about it. But for sure if I will have more matches like this it will slowly change.

Q. Curious why you stayed on court after the handshake and what you thought of her singing.

ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: You know, she told me that, you know, I played very well and I'm a great player. You know, she started first in English and then I answered in Russian. Oh, oh, sorry. You speak Russian? I'm like, Yeah. She continued in Russian. It means really a lot to me when such a player tells me that, you know, you have a great future. Yeah. I mean, I will try to keep up the good work and, you know, get myself a chance to be in the main draw in Australia and not to waste too much energy on the qualifications, because today I felt in the third set pretty tired. I didn't let it, you know, to myself. But, yeah, next tournament is Tashkent in three days. Yeah, I try to get as much rest as I can and keep going the same way.

Q. Other than the fact you're in this room for the second time, have you noticed a lot more attention from international media?

ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Well, yeah. Yeah, but, you know, it's not like I'm, I don't know, 60 or 70 in the world and now I did a great result and I have a little bit more attention. It's first time in my life I have any attention, you know, with the media. So I felt so exhausted after my match with Petra. After the press conference and autograph session and everything, I was like, Oh, my god. If this is what happens to me I can't imagine to Petra or Serena. I don't know how they handle all this. But, yeah, for sure there is much more attention. And it's really great, you know. It motivates me, for sure. I felt like, you know, I'm here with the best players. I mean, you know, when you go to the gym and it's empty almost, it means a lot of players are out. Yeah, it gives me all the motivation.

Q. You're projected to go to No. 91 next week.


Q. What's that mean to you?

ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: Well, yeah, I didn't want to look at the count, you know, before I finished the tournament. Yeah, well, you know, I had a goal until the end of the year to reach the top 100, but I was hoping I can do it after six tournaments, or -- six, yeah. So if I play well in Tashkent, I have Linz and Luxembourg, and I was supposed to play in November two 125ks in Asia, but instead I think I'm going to go to vacations. I think I'm not going to make these two.

Q. Do you know how much money you earned?

ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC: No. I know it's 30% tax. That makes me very sad. But the rest, I have no idea (smiling).