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An Interview With: Roberta Vinci (Quarterfinals)

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Q. Tough battle out there today. Through to your first Grand Slam semifinal as a result of some fierce play. Talk about the match and how you feel you played.

ROBERTA VINCI: Well, of course I'm feeling good right now. It was a tough match, of course, quarterfinal. At the beginning I started to play good, much better than her, and then I won the first set. Then 2-1 for me and break I lost my serve in 35 seconds, I think. And then starting to -- she's starting to play much better than the first set, but I think at the end, 3-All in the third set, long, long game, advantage for her, advantage for me, double fault, ace, everything, and when I won that game probably she's going a little bit down or upset. But of course it's my semifinal in my career, so I'm really happy.

Q. A semifinal you'll play against somebody with the name Williams. We don't know which one.

ROBERTA VINCI: Doesn't matter. I am in the semifinal. (Laughter.)

Q. How do you feel? Are you looking forward to playing your first semifinal? Maybe it doesn't matter, but certainly going to be a lot of attention in that match.

ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, yeah. Of course. But doesn't matter if Serena or Venus. I'm so happy. I would like to enjoy my semifinal on Thursday. I did not expect one semifinal at the US Open, so I'm really happy. Now I enjoy my day. Tomorrow rest and play my game on Thursday. I have nothing to lose. We will see.

Q. You said you didn't -- I think you said you didn't expect to be in the semifinals right now.

ROBERTA VINCI: No.

Q. I know you haven't been in one before. But is it fair to say that you have exceeded your expectations in this tournament thus far?

ROBERTA VINCI: Well, I played good in Toronto; Cincinnati started to play much better. But when you play the Grand Slams, always tough and you have a lot of pressure because there are so many points and so you can reach -- you can improve your ranking. But I think I have also good draw, because Suarez lost, Jankovic the same, Bouchard. So maybe this was my tournament. I don't know. Sometimes it can happen. Yeah.

Q. You're one of six players in the top 40 for Italy. Today you made a major contribution. How proud are you of that contribution? How proud do you feel your country is of you right now, being the first into the semifinals? You won the race. You're the first one in there.

ROBERTA VINCI: Well, yeah I'm happy. In Italy there are so many good players. Maybe see. Maybe tomorrow Flavia, she has to play, so probably she can reach also the semifinals, too. I'm proud. Of course I'm really happy one Italian girl goes to the semifinal. Of course.

Q. Some players, you know, they make it to the semifinals, make the slam breakthrough early in their career; you're making yours later in your career. I am curious as to what you think it means for you? What does it mean for you to make a slam semi now?

ROBERTA VINCI: Well, it's nice. I'm 32. I'm not young. So probably my experience today help me a lot. Kristina is a young player, so probably she find a little bit tension or something. Of course I think I'm at the end of my career, so my semifinal, first semifinal, it's incredible. You know, when you work hard for a long time and every single day, sometimes you have some periods down and try to come back. It's not always easy. But it's nice. I'm very proud of myself.

Q. Could you break down playing either Serena or Venus with what you expect from each matchup.

ROBERTA VINCI: When they play tonight? For me?

Q. When you play.

ROBERTA VINCI: Against Serena or Venus?

Q. Yes. Talk about each of them.

ROBERTA VINCI: Wow. Tough match for both. Yeah, Serena is Serena, but Venus is still playing so good. But what I said, I have nothing to lose. Just play my game. Enjoy my match. We will see. But of course I'm really happy now to go to the semifinal.

Q. Talk about how your experience might have helped you today. From your experiences against both of them, if memory serves me, seven matches you have played against Venus and Serena. What do you think you can take from any of those matches that would help you in the semifinal?

ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, I know that I have a lot of experience, but when you play against Serena doesn't matter. (Smiling.) You have to play better then better then better. And also, I think also against Venus. Well, I have to play. I have to play my game, aggressive, nothing special. Yeah, I know I have a lot of experience, but maybe against them I don't need this experience.

Q. What are your thoughts about the way your game has evolved during this tournament? How does that compare with what you were thinking when the tournament began?

ROBERTA VINCI: Well, now I'm starting to play much better, more aggressive. I feel good. Also my body is okay. I don't have injury. Maybe now I'm more solid and more in confidence. You know, when you won a lot of matches you are a little bit of, yeah, in confidence. So now I'm good. I'm feeling good. I mean, yeah. Is nice when you have this sensation. You know, when you go on the court, okay, let's play. When you don't feel the balls or something goes wrong it's tough, but now the things goes in a good way.

Q. What has given you that much confidence playing on the hard courts during this tournament?

ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, they are hard court. The balls, the balance, the surface, everything. I like to play in the States. I like to play here. It's nice. (Smiling.)

Q. You're a great doubles player. How much of that doubles success has rounded out your game to an all-court player? You're starting to use your shots a bit more in your singles, it looks like.

ROBERTA VINCI: Yeah, yeah, with Sara we won a lot of Grand Slams, so maybe I have a lot of experience, and then in doubles you can try some shot or something different, and you can also try to in singles. I think the doubles help a lot. Yeah.

Q. How did this confidence help you in that marathon game in the third set? How did you stay focused? Did you know how important that game was?

ROBERTA VINCI: Was tough to stay focused, was tired at the end, but also her. Three whole long game. That was I think the key, because, yeah, she was also tired. But on my mind I say, Play every single point. Don't think about the results. Don't think about the quarterfinal. Oh, maybe I go to the semis. Don't think about that. Play aggressive. That's it. Try to stay calm. It was tough, but it's okay.

Q. You were speaking before about the Williams sisters. With Serena specifically, when you watch her play, what goes through your mind?

ROBERTA VINCI: She's the No. 1. She's incredible player. I played against her in Toronto three weeks ago. The serve, it's incredible. It's tough to return. She's the No. 1.

Q. How about her mental strength? How would you describe that?

ROBERTA VINCI: It's not easy. You have sometimes you have to try to return and try to put the ball on the court. It's not easy to do, but we will see. Maybe Thursday I can do it. (Smiling.)

Q. Is there a match or a win over the last summer that you point to and say that was the match where you got the most confidence?

ROBERTA VINCI: In the past?

Q. Just this summer. You had a very good hard court summer and you had some good wins. I'm just wondering if there is one match that you can point to as being...

ROBERTA VINCI: One match? Well, maybe the match against Bouchard that I play -- I play so good. She play so-and-so, but I was tough, tough player. (Smiling.)

Q. Speaking of Bouchard, how fresh do you feel today? You didn't have to play a fourth-round match?

ROBERTA VINCI: I was tired. I was tired. I didn't play, but, you know, a lot of pressure in your mind and a lot of energy that you lost about this match. I'm joking, of course. I didn't play so I had one day off. It was good for my body.

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