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An Interview With: Petra Cetkovska (Round 2)

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Q. Is this the biggest win of your career?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: Certainly one of the biggest, yeah.

Q. Why?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: Why? Because first of all it's Caroline. Caroline, she's one of the best players of the world. Then it happened on the biggest tennis stadium in the world. So, yeah.

Q. How are you feeling right now? Can you describe it?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: Tired, but very happy. Very, very happy. But I don't think I realize what happened on the court. There were a lot of emotions. But, yeah, I'm very, very happy, yeah. I think that I cannot describe it better. It is something that I was not really even thinking about when I went on the court. I just wanted to give the best out of myself tonight, and I did. It was great experience to play on this great stadium in front of all of the people. Yeah, was sensational.

Q. Obviously you led 4-1 in the second set, then she came back, then a tight third set. How did you win that match?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: The good or the bad thing, I don't know how to say, on a tennis match is that it's never over until the match point, until after the last point is over. It was a very tough fight. I was playing very well. When I was up in the second set, I started to be tight a little bit, and I let Caroline play more. Then was just a fight, a mental fight probably for both of us in the third set.

Q. You got a medical exception to play the tour. Was that because of a hip injury?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: Yeah.

Q. Is this your first Grand Slam of the year?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: No, this is my third.

Q. The four match points that you were able to save, do you remember those points? Do you remember how you were able to win them?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: I've been told that they were all winners. You know, when you're at this stage of the match, you don't really... I don't know. Sometimes you just see the ball and you just hit it. You just see the hole that you think is the right decision. Obviously they were all right this time. So, yeah.

Q. Do you remember whether or not you thought, This is match point, I'm going to play more freely, swing big? Was your mentality on those points different?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: On those match points I just was thinking that I have to be more aggressive, it has to be me who has to take the game; otherwise it's over. Maybe I just pushed a little more than I did those points before when those were not matchpoints. I don't know. They were all in. I could have missed just a little and it was over. So, yeah. What to say?

Q. When she came back in the second set, how were you able to hold your resolve and know you would be able to hold on long enough to win the match?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: I just kept believing that if I was leading 6-4 and 4-1 that it was not just luck. Then Caroline, we obviously all know she's a great player, a great defender. It had to be me who was taking little bit more risk - sometimes a lot. But I could not let her play her game. So I just had to try to stay aggressive and not step into her game. So that was the only thing that I kept in my mind, as much as possible, to do this. It paid off, yeah, at the end.

Q. Given your injury history, was there a time when you thought matches and venues like this might not come around for you again? Does it mean more to you?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: Yeah, yeah. This injury that I've overcome, it was really difficult. Those first months it was extremely difficult. Every day I was asking myself if I will be able to play tennis again, to play on such a big stadium, to play such a big match and win it. No, to be honest, I was not really thinking of it because it was not really going so well in the beginning. So for me is just an amazing feeling, like satisfaction for everything that I have gone through.

Q. Was there ever a point that you thought you weren't going to be able to come back?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: Of course in the match there are always moments when you are a little bit more down, a little bit more up. Yeah, there were certain moments when I was a little bit down and I was asking myself if I can. But then very fast I put this idea away and I just kept fighting.

Q. When you were injured, going through the rehabilitation, did you ever think maybe it wasn't worth it to try to come back to the tour?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: No. I knew that I have to go through all of these not nice things, those hours and hours of rehabilitation and exercise to make all the things right again and to gain the force, the muscles that I had that I lost. I never thought that it can take so much time, but it does. No, I didn't want to quit. I wanted to continue and see if I can play again.

Q. Your coach was really emotional at the end after the match. What does it mean to him, as well?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: Well, emotional. I think that these kind of matches, you can get emotional. I think it was a very nice match. We started our collaboration in April. So he went through with me as well a lot of difficult times. So I think that for him, as well, it's a satisfaction to see that his work and our time that we spend in the rehab, all those exercises, and on the court, that they are paying off. At least part of it is coming back. Our relation with this I think will be even stronger, yeah.

Q. Do you think you will be able to bounce back because you have Pennetta next? Are you worried by the fact that this match went for so long?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: Well, I had a massage already, a little one. I had a recovery drink. I will rest, I will sleep, tomorrow massage again. Certainly I won't be 100%, but at least as much as possible to be able to be on the court again on Saturday.

Q. Can you walk us through the last injury, what specifically it was? Did you have surgery?

PETRA CETKOVSKA: Yeah.

Q. Just the timeline.

PETRA CETKOVSKA: Last year in July I won an ITF tournament. At the end of the tournament I was not able to walk. I thought that I'm just blocked in my back. For the whole month I was trying to find someone who could unblock me. I got unblocked and it was not really working. I had to withdraw myself from Cincinnati, New Haven, all the tournaments. I got a lot of rest. I came here for US Open. I won one match. Then I lost to Petra Kvitova in the second round. It started to be really painful, so I got an MRI back here. They said there is a tear in the labrum and something else on the other side of the hip with the bone. So I came back and I asked to very good doctors what do they think about it. They both agreed this is worth the operation. Only the exercises, it's a 50% chance it might heal. I decided to do the operation. It was at the end of September. Then I had one month crutches and I could start to run slowly after three months. I started to do a little bit of bike. I started to play tennis a little bit. I touched the racquet for the first time in February, yeah. Then I continued to do a lot of exercise for the hip to stabilize everything. When you move the hip, it is everything that is moving. This is what causes a lot of problems. So it was a lot of work until everything gets back in order. And, yeah, today almost one year after.

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