US OPEN

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Anastasija Sevastova

Press Conference

A. SEVASTOVA/S. Stephens

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did it feel like third time lucky today?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I hope so. I mean, I won in the end (smiling). I think it was third time lucky. But again, if I would lose I would also be proud of myself. Three times quarters. It's not happening every year or every day.

Q. How tough were the conditions for you out there? How were you able to make it through?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: It's always tough in the beginning, I think, but then you get in the flow and you just forget it.

I think shade was also pretty tough. It's moving, and, yeah, one side with the sun was very hot. Very hot.

Q. She kept trying to come back in the second set, I guess. What did you tell yourself not to lose your nerves, just to stay doing what you were doing?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I lost my nerves a little bit. I think she lost also her nerves a little bit. Yeah, it's normal, I think. It's for semifinals of US Open. It's okay, I think, just to show some emotions.

Yeah, the game at 4-3, 5-3, this game was very important, and then serving on that side was easier.

Q. What did you learn from last year's match that helped you today?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don't know. I didn't learn anything. I mean, it was tough playing. Tough loss last year. But every loss you learn something, and I was okay if we would play three sets.

Yeah. I was also thinking about that match at 4-1 in the second set, but it happened. I was still proud of this match. I think it was a great match last year, and now look what happened now?

Q. Did you see that she was bending over, she was really struggling? Did that play into the dropshots?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: No. I saw that she was struggling. I was struggling also a little bit, but I didn't show it that much. But I don't play dropshots when I see the player struggling or bending over, no. I just play them instinctively, and that's how they work, or don't work sometimes (smiling).

Q. You have a great variety in your game, very interesting style. She also has a lot of different tools. So what is it like playing her? Do you enjoy playing somebody like that? And can you describe what you think about when you go out to play someone like that?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: It's always tough to play her, I think, because her ball is so heavy. She has big spin on the forehand. Also backhand. It's like it comes at you so fast. Also good serve and moving well.

It's tough, like, to make points against her, but I had to be aggressive. I had to try to come to the net, play some dropshots, move her, not let her play the game with her forehand, yeah, and make the winners.

Q. Two big steps now from the final. After winning this match in this atmosphere, how far do you believe you can go? Do you believe you can win this title?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I don't look that far ahead. I mean, there is still semifinals. I'm going to watch the match against who I'm going to play. But, yeah, I was also two times in the quarters and I also didn't look ahead. It's still long way to go, I think. The Grand Slams are so long, yeah.

Q. I was wondering if you could reflect a little on your journey coming back from retirement and now you're going into the semifinals in this amazing stage. What kind of emotions you're feeling right now?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I'm relieved that the match is over in this heat (smiling). Yeah, how do you feel? You feel happy. I think you need some time then to look, to look at this journey. It was an amazing journey, this three, four years.

Right now you're so in, you're in the tournament, you're playing next tournament next week, and you don't feel it, you know. You think, oh, but in the end it's amazing, yeah? You can't believe, yeah. So after I stop at some point I will look at it and I will be proud of myself, for sure.

Q. Last night Roger was saying it wasn't just the heat. It was the air. He was having trouble. Did you feel that out there?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: It's very humid, for sure. For the hands it's not nice. You're always slippery hands. I don't like it. But it is what it is. It's the weather in New York right now. Yeah.

Q. In terms of like breathing, was that...
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: No, I felt fine. After a long rally you feel a little bit tired, but that's okay. We are playing in a big heat here. We should be fit. Yeah, we should be okay.

Q. When you did first come back, what were some of the goals when you first started playing again? How did they compare to where you are now?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I had done not many goals. Maybe top 100. I was thinking, okay, maybe a couple of years, play top 100. Enjoy the game.

But now, obviously when you win more, you have higher goals. And when you're, like, winning a tournament, you think that's normal. I can win it maybe next week again.

But you have to appreciate it more, I think. You have to see that what you're doing, it's like a privilege here, yeah. So try to keep it low and try to, yeah, enjoy it.

Q. How will you prepare now for your semifinal? What are your thoughts on the two players who you could face?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: I'm going to play doubles tomorrow. That's my preparation. I'm going to watch the match. We'll see who will win. I don't know. It's going to be a close match, I think. I hope I will enjoy it, playing semifinals. It's not every day you play semifinals of a Grand Slam.

Yeah, either way, against Serena or Karolina, it's going to be a tough match. They play aggressive. They serve big. I need to find some solutions. Some dropshots (smiling).

Q. You have been so adept in this tournament at breaking serve, 23 times coming in and then again today. What do you attribute that to? How have you been able to do that?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: My hitting partner. He's, like, also helping like a coach. I have, like, two coaches. He's serving pretty big. Returning his serve was always challenging, so I think it helped me here, yeah.

Q. Who is the hitting partner?
ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA: My coach is Ronald Schmidt and hitting partner is Marco Mirnegg. He was 200 in the world.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #180 at 2018-09-04 18:23:00 GMT