Interview after third round match against Christina McHale (USA), 6-2, 6-3 (video)
Maria, it seemed like you were in control of that, on the offense, for most of that match. What was it about her game that gave you a little bit of trouble?
Well, I did not feel any trouble today. Yeah, even we had very long points today and I knew what I have to do to win these points. So I think I did everything right today. Somewhere I was aggressive, somewhere I was defensive, somewhere I was just waiting, you know, just to find the point to be aggressive. I think I did everything right today.
Christina spoke about being passive, not being comfortable on the big stage at such a young age. As the person on the other side of the net, do you pick up on that and try to exploit it right away?
Yes, of course it’s not easy to play, especially we’re not playing quite often, you know, on the big stadium, night session matches. Also a lot of people cheering for her. I know how much pressure she had today. But, well, I think still she did a good job, you know. Well, just well done for her as well. I mean, she was trying her best today. I mean, I think I played really consistent today, like I said. I did some mistakes, of course, but without mistakes, it’s impossible as well to play.
Did you get any sense of how to play her yesterday? You were against each other in doubles right?
Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, I mean, that’s good for me. Like she had really good results in the American tournaments, but I never seen her play. And yesterday doubles, it’s help me a lot because I saw how she serving, how she’s returning, how she’s playing in general. After that match I was quite confident and comfortable I knew how to play against her.
Do you have thoughts on either Sam Stosur or Nadia Petrova for your next opponent?
Well, I saw they have a very tough match right now. It’s 7 6, 6 7. I think they’re both playing great tennis right now. The best for this moment gonna win. But I’m ready to play against anyone. If you want to win Sunday, you have to beat some good players, as well.
Seems like during one of the changeovers you didn’t feel right. Was there something going on?
Yeah, I had some problems with my right leg cramping a bit.
What kind of challenge was it for you mentally with the crowd cheering for Christina?
Of course I was ready for it. I knew there’s going to be a lot of people and all people are going to support her, and I was ready for it. I think it’s great. It’s great that the people come here. They like tennis. They supporting the people from, I mean, America. I think it’s great for the tennis here, for the sport.
When you see somebody kind of her age starting out, does it take you back to when you were that player?
Yeah, of course. I remember everything. I mean, the first tournament I played, the big one, it was the US Open. I got the wildcard in quallies after when I won the junior US Open. I remember I made the quallies and I lost the third round against Mauresmo. We didn’t play on this big stage, but we played on Grandstand. But still I remember this feeling, how nervous I was, how difficult it was to play. But still was a lot of excitement, you know, to play on such a good level.