(September 5, 2016) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Posting player interviews throughout the day when allowed.
Note from the US Open Media Operations Guide as why Tennis Panorama News is allowed to post transcripts:
K. PLISKOVA/V. Williams
4-6, 6-4, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Just your thoughts after that tough, tough match.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, we both competed really well. Of course I’d like to come out on top of that match. Just kept fighting till the end, but I don’t know, she had a little more luck today.
I had a few too many errors in the tiebreaker.
Q. What were your emotions when you got down three match points and as you battled back to overcome those three match points?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, just to keep fighting and never to give up. That was definitely my mindset at that point. Just try to keep winning points.
Q. How did it feel to overcome that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: At that point that’s exactly where I wanted to be, was in the tiebreaker and going for the match.
Q. In the tiebreaker, was it luck or you kind of let yourself down a little bit off the ground, that she outplayed you? What was the difference in the breaker, do you think?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think in the breaker I went for a little bit more but I didn’t put the ball in enough. You know, I went for some aggressive shots; didn’t necessarily put them in.
You know, obviously she played well.
Q. How high do you feel like the quality was of that match? It looked to us like you guys were hitting as hard as you could and there were over 70 winners between the two of you.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely a high, high quality match. I totally agree.
Q. Your support from the crowd, living, breathing each of those fluctuations in the third set, how much does that boost you or how much does it mean to have the full support of the crowd?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s just so, so amazing. Such an amazing feeling. I enjoyed every single moment of that.
Q. What was your mindset at triple match point and going through and saving all those three match points?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Just that she played a great game. I was going to try to stay in there, continue to try to get points, and, you know, I played a good game after that and I got some opportunities to get in there.
Q. You had some strong results this year. How would you assess the way you’ve played this season?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely a ton of positives. I’m looking forward to continuing a lot of positives on the court.
Q. Just talk about the joy quotient versus the win quotient as —
VENUS WILLIAMS: The what? Joy?
Q. The joy, the feeling of joy versus the feeling of winning as far as keeping yourself going all these years. Has that really changed over the years for you as a player?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don’t know. I never thought about that. (Laughter.) There is a lot of joy in winning. I mean, that’s all I can say.
Q. Are you surprised in any way that you’re doing so incredibly well at this point in your life?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I definitely have the will, so I think I will keep finding the way.
Q. So you’re not surprised, per se?
VENUS WILLIAMS: With effort something’s got to happen. I put a lot of effort into this. It’s not by luck at all.
So, you know, definitely feel like my wins are deserved. I feel like I’m going to get more as the future goes on.
Q. After a strong start to the first set, do you feel like you let her back into the match by giving up those breaks?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was just a lot of errors. I still have to cut back on my errors.
I think she started returning serve really well as the match progressed. She lifted her game. Definitely a lot of credit to her for hanging in there and staying positive.
Q. After the 5-1 lead, closing in on the net and serving well, did you feel like she made adjustments to kind of make that match level, or was it a matter of levels of each of you kind of going up and down? Was there a tactical change?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she definitely made adjustments. That’s what you have to do. That’s why she’s at the top.
Q. Some people say that Pliskova plays like Lindsay Davenport. From your perspective, how similar are their games?
VENUS WILLIAMS: For me, not that similar. Not really.
Q. You had a lot of success coming to the net, especially in the first set; didn’t come in as much later. Was that an adjustment she had, she made, or did you feel like tactics were better for you as the match wore on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess I did what I could when I could. That’s the match. I do like to get in when I can.
Q. Pliskova is 24 now. Do you see her as future Grand Slam winner, in the future after your sister retires?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That’s a wonderful compliment to Serena, but the sky’s the limit for everyone. The future is in her own hands. It’s what she makes of it. I can’t say what something is going to do or isn’t going to.
Q. Your 18th slam. Do you take in more surroundings, the fans, more than you did in the past? If so, how?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously it’s an amazing atmosphere out there, but it’s definitely all business when you’re on the court. There’s a lot of tough situations. No matter what position you get in your opponent is still trying to figure out how to win the match. You don’t have time to start enjoying the moment and looking around. You know, sports just doesn’t work that way.
Q. Coming and going or practicing…
VENUS WILLIAMS: Clearly enjoy the game to be here. I love what I do.
Q. After a tough match like that, do you expect that you’ll go out now and watch Serena’s match in person? What do you think that will be like as she goes for that 308th major victory?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, the match is on right now. Of course I like her chances. You know, I’m sure that her opponent wants to win, too. She’s going to have to be able to still play well no matter who’s across the net.
But of course, you know, I’m hoping that she’ll get the win.
Q. Do you expect to go out and watch it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven’t even thought about that. I still have other stuff I’ve got to do. Hopefully maybe she will win quickly and then I won’t even have to think about it. (Smiling.)
Q. If you can think back to the match point that you had, is there anything you think you could have done differently or wished you had done differently on that point?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really. I mean, she had a great serve. She hit another great shot and I still played a great defensive shot. I did the best I could on that. Whenever you have a match point on someone else’s serve, it’s a little bit of an asterisk. I really have no regrets on that.
I had a little bad luck trying to hold serve. It wasn’t ideal.
Q. Just more generally, as a player in the latter stages of a match, if you do have a match point and are unable to convert it at that point being close to victory, is it easy to move on from that? Does it ever linger in your mind as the match progresses?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really in this case, because I was never in control of that point, even though I played a great point. It was really a little bit out of my hands. Had I reached match point on my serve, then of course I’d think about it a lot more.
But I really played the perfect point there, and she managed to stay alive.
Q. Many of your matches here have been heart breakers. (Indiscernible.)
VENUS WILLIAMS: I live in the present so I move on. I learn from this and I just keep going.
Q. You said sky’s the limit for every player and that individuals have to set their own goals and what they can do. You have had a great career and are still having one. What goals do you have for yourself at this point?
VENUS WILLIAMS: To continue to play better tennis. At this point my goals are just to cut back on my errors. I feel like if I convert a few more points, a few less errors, then this kind of match is mine.
That’s a balance that you make when you play the kind of game that I play. You have to figure out the balance. I was clearly the more aggressive player all the time, but I have to put the ball in the court.
Q. Have you made any specific dietary changes to ensure your longevity?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I’m always working on it. I’m always working on it. That’s my life right now.
Q. Specifically, what are the things…
VENUS WILLIAMS: It’s a long story. Next time. (Laughter.)
S. WILLIAMS/Y. Shvedova
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. 308, you’re now ahead of Roger. What does this milestone mean to you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it’s really exciting. I just think winning 308 matches in general is pretty awesome. For that to be in a Grand Slam is pretty cool.
Q. Would you care to elaborate on just the significance of that specific number and how you think it compares with some of the other milestones that you’ve achieved.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s a huge number. I think it’s very significant actually. I think it’s something that, you know, just really talks about the length of my career, in particular. I’ve been playing for a really long time, but also, you know, given that consistency up there. That’s something that I’m really proud of.
Q. Do you think it’s felt like business as usual? Through the first four matches, has it felt pretty ‘standard’ for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just feel like I’m going out there doing what I need to do. I’m not overplaying, I’m not underplaying. I’m just trying to play my way into this tournament.
Q. Many players retire early. Talk about your pride in the length of your work. What has been involved in all the grinding and hard work?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I can’t really speak to it. I think it just comes from a different place of the just love and really enjoying it. I definitely never thought I would be playing still. Now I don’t really see when I’m going to stop because I’m just enjoying these moments out here, getting to break records that I didn’t even know existed or I didn’t even know was possible.
I think when you really enjoy what you do, it’s different.
Q. Do you think the times off, all those hardships, then getting Patrick to come on, was all that really key and helpful in a way?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think everything just kind of worked out the way it was supposed to, even though I probably didn’t want to be injured, I didn’t want to have those surgeries. I feel like it was able to help me stay out here longer.
Q. Were you able to watch Venus’ rollercoaster match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was really trying to warm up. I get really nervous when I watch, so I didn’t really see much.
Q. Did you know when you took the court what happened?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, of course. I knew that she lost when it was over. But I didn’t really watch what was going on.
Q. You have not been broken this tournament. You’ve literally faced one breakpoint. When you’re serving that well, how much does that bleed into the rest of your game? Do you feel like it offers you the chance to swing more freely, play your return games with more aggression?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I feel like it definitely helps me to be able to know that I can hold. Yeah, I definitely feel like I can play returns easier.
But with that being said, I’m just trying to stay in that serving moment, just not serve over myself, just get high percentages in.
Q. You said on court you didn’t really know why you’re serving so well.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, ’cause I don’t think I really served in the summer until I got here to New York, so… It was a really tough summer for me. Maybe that’s the key (smiling).
Q. Many players are making the quarterfinals here for the first time, making it to the final eight club. Do you know about that and is it an important thing for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My first time being in the quarterfinals, I felt like I needed to go further. I’m sure a lot of people feel that way, too. That’s just how I felt.
Q. Do you plan on coming back to these tournaments in the future when you stop playing? Do you think we’ll see you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t know honestly. I can’t say that you wouldn’t. I’ve had so many wonderful memories at every single Grand Slam. But I would imagine I would want to come back and enjoy it as a spectator, just really have that fun and enjoy that.
I would imagine, absolutely.
Q. Visualization. How important is that for you to be able to see yourself as the 2016 US Open winner?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it’s really important. You have to see it and believe it before it happens, you know. I think that is something that is super important.
Q. It’s your fifth Open since you and Patrick teamed up together. Could you speak a little bit about his integration into your team and the evolution of your relationship with him over the last four years.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It’s been amazing. I absolutely love working with him as a coach. I don’t know what it is about our chemistry. We just tend to work great together. It just works.
He’s been a great addition to my team. He always has my best interests. So I think that’s really important, as well.
Q. We had the greatest athlete discussion the other day. Do you ever think about what other sports you may have been great at?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not really. I definitely want to stick to tennis right now. But, no, I never really thought about it.
Q. Could you have seen yourself even playing anything else when you were little or trying anything else?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely did more artsy sports when I was growing up. Yeah, I wouldn’t know what I would be doing. Probably, if anything, I’d be in the fashion business, yeah.
Q. I don’t know if you can handle this technical question. I noticed you have very long nails. Do you play tennis with those or you just come in the press conference with those?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, no, I pop them off before I play. And then I do them right before press just so I can impress you (smiling).
Q. They look nice.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Thank you.
Q. Can you think of a favorite memory or story relating to Armstrong Stadium?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I played Kim Clijsters there in ’99. I want to say it was like the third round maybe. Boy, it was a tough one. I was down. Somehow managed to come back and win that match.
No one knew who Kim Clijsters was at the time. She became such a wonderful, great player. I was just on the come-up myself. That propelled me to win my first Open. That’s something I’ll never forget.
Q. You haven’t faced a seeded player. You’ll face one next with Simona. Do you recognize that as being a step up? Do you take it just as a quarterfinal match, another opponent?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just think with everyone I play, they play a step up and above their ranking. I think that’s the beauty, one of the reasons I’m able to hang. Everyone I’m playing is playing like they’re No. 1.
To me it doesn’t really matter who I play because I have to expect they’re going to play the match of their life. That’s how I go into these matches now.
Q. The other day you said you were waiting for Serena to come out again. Is this about as close as it’s going to get? Was she there today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, she’s coming. She hasn’t quite come out yet, though.
J. DEL POTRO/D. Thiem
6-3, 3-2 (ret.)
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please. What was the injury.
DOMINIC THIEM: It was the knee. So, yeah, I had some problems with blisters, and maybe because of the compensation the knee started to hurt.
But anyway, I’m going to do an MRI now in the next couple hours, and then I will have more information about it.
Q. When did you start feeling it? What were you feeling?
DOMINIC THIEM: Started two or three days ago I think already. Didn’t get that much better.
Yeah, at the beginning of the match it was basically okay, but maybe also because of all the excitement and this. And, yeah, from the end of first set, beginning of second set, it got worse and worse. No other choice.
Q. How disappointing was this for you? You were right there.
DOMINIC THIEM: Well, every time you have to retire it’s disappointing, of course. But, yeah, I mean, knee is something where you shouldn’t try out too much.
Yeah, I have to check it out and then I will see how it’s going.
Q. When did the pain started? Did you play 100% in any time of the game?
DOMINIC THIEM: I have the pain since three days and never got — got a little bit better maybe over the night, but then it started again.
Yeah, in the beginning of the match it was okay. But, yeah, in no time of the match I could bend my knees. Like I couldn’t bend it too much like the last three days.
So I was all the time a little bit handicapped.
Q. You were feeling this in your third-round match?
DOMINIC THIEM: Well he, it started very slowly. That’s why I thought it because of the blister, because of the compensation, because I already had it a couple of times.
So I thought, yeah, if the blister is gone I can walk normal again. It’s also the knee pain goes away. Was not the case, unfortunately.
But, yeah, third-round match, well, I felt it in the morning a little bit but during the match, no.
Yeah, it started basically in the evening two days ago.
Q. So the issue with the knee was blister? Which knee was it?
DOMINIC THIEM: It was the right knee.
Q. But it was blister?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah, the blister was on the toes, but I was all the time like somehow running strange because I couldn’t put all the pressure on the toes.
So that’s what I thought, you know. But, yeah, I have to do MRI because…
Q. MRI for the knee?
DOMINIC THIEM: Yeah.
Q. You were playing very good in the first games of the match. Do you think you would have beaten Del Potro if you were 100% healthy?
DOMINIC THIEM: Nobody knows.
Q. This was your 69th match which leads the ATP. How will you approach your schedule next year based on what you’ve learned this year?
DOMINIC THIEM: For sure I will adapt it a little bit. Yeah, I never expected to play that many matches of course this year. But, yeah, it happened obviously, and for sure next year I’m going to change it up a little bit.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about how you saw Juan Martin Del Potro playing today, at least in the first set, first games where you were feeling healthy? And if you think that right now Del Potro can beat anyone in the circuit again?
DOMINIC THIEM: Of course the forehand is amazing, and also the service is really good. Backhand probably not like when he was at his best, but I think it’s getting better and better.
He’s unbelievable dangerous player.
Juan Martin Del Potro
J. DEL POTRO/D. Thiem
6-3, 3-2 (ret.)
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. First of all, how do you feel? After all these matches in a row, winning, you weren’t probably expecting 15, 20 days ago, how does it feel? Are you surprised in a way about this?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yes, a little bit. I didn’t expect to be in quarters in my second Grand Slam after my comeback. I’m doing in a good way because I’m playing good tennis. My level is growing up every day.
I’m so glad to be part of the last eight in this tournament, and that I will have the chance to play another big challenge after tomorrow. Everything can happen. So I will try to be there.
Q. After your third surgery did you ever have actual serious thoughts about retiring and stepping away from this? If you did not, did you have doubts that you would get back to a slam?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I was close to retired before my third surgery, but after that I always believe on myself to come back on tennis. When I made the decision to do the surgery, I always believe I will come back, for sure.
And after that, everything change to myself, and now I’m here. I’m playing free. I don’t have any big problems in my wrist, and that’s important. Sometimes bother me a little bit, but I can deal with that. I’m still improving my backhand.
Q. Did you have to make any adjustments today for wind or with the roof open?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, I think it was okay for us. The sound of the balls was much better than the other night.
I really enjoyed the crowd today, as well. It was okay.
Q. In Wimbledon you said the reason you cannot hit backhand with your hand is not only because of the pain. (Indiscernible.)
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I’m not worried about my wrist at the moment because I’m practicing every day. I’m playing matches every day. My wrist responds in the good way.
Now I have to hit my backhand even better than today for my next match. Here is a different surface than Wimbledon, so my slices doesn’t go too well as I did in Wimbledon.
But I’m okay with my level. I’m hitting good forehands. My serve is working good. I’m looking forward to do a good match after tomorrow.
Q. You have obviously had to develop through the injury, recovery period, one-handed backhand slicing a lot more than you used to do. Do you feel actually you have come out at the end of it with a stronger range of backhands than you did before the injury?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, I would like to improve my backhand as well now. I think with that change, my slices, my volley is improve a lot, because normally I didn’t use that shot and now I’m using very often.
But in the future, if can combine slices and volleys with my old backhand would be more dangerous for my game and I will be comfortable with all the weapons.
Q. What effect does what you did here in 2009 have on the way you have been able to keep confidence even through the worst of injuries and make this comeback?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, this tournament, it’s great for me. I always love to play in New York, in these stadiums. Of course I had a great memories from 2009, but now my person is completely different.
I enjoying even more when I get into the courts than years ago. I just want to play tennis in front of the big crowds. I’m so exciting to still winning matches and maybe be in the top positions in the future.
But I don’t care about that at the moment.
Q. How did the 2009 experience factor into your thinking as you had the worst of times with your injuries?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I think everything in 2009 is completely the past. You know, of course I asked for the wildcard here because of that memory, you know. I like to be here.
But now my life is different. I have a different game. I’m getting older. Everything is like new for me. It’s like a new career after my third surgery. I’m really enjoying this.
Q. How important was your round at the Olympics for the confidence?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, was very, very important because I start to believe in myself after that tournament. I’m feeling aggressive with my game. I’m feeling competitive in front of all of the players.
For all the players on tour are very important the confidence on court, and I think I’m in a good, in good shape to see the future.
Q. If you play Stan again, when you beat him at Wimbledon it seemed like a very big moment in your comeback, but you have had a lot of big moments since then. Can you think back to that match and how your summer has gone since then?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: It’s gonna be different match for sure. Different surface. Stan survives in the third round, I think. In the fifth he won a great match, and now he’s winning easily.
He will be the favorite to win in that match, but anything can happen in this event for me. I got the power from the crowd in every match, and that’s help me a lot to fight and to play my best tennis.
I’m confident with my level to do a good match.
Q. Talking a lot about your old backhand. When do you expect, if you expect, that the old backhand will be back? I mean, do you have any idea? And a doctor of yours tells you, Okay, next January you’ll be okay, or not?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, of course not. I will stay calm if that happens. But if you see my practice, my backhand is going —
Q. Getting better?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Getting better. It’s faster than in the match. At least I’m improving at practice. Then one day I will be playing the same way of the matches.
But nobody knows when it’s gonna be that day.
Q. How are you feeling as far as after your third-round match, and how did it help you today to only be out there for only an hour?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, of course it’s not good to win a match in this way. I’m very sad for him. I wish all the best. He’s a nice guy.
And for my body, could help a little bit. Right after the match I hit for a while again. I need to be 100% in the next round. I’m feeling little tired because I didn’t stop after Rio. My body feels that, but I will be okay.
Q. As you say, Stan here on this surface and at this tournament is very different than when you faced him at Wimbledon; you’re probably in a different spot with your comeback, as well. So considering both sides, whatsoever challenges do you see in that match?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, it’s gonna be interesting to play and to watch, for sure. We both play hard and we hit very hard the ball.
But depends of me. Depends of my game. Depends on my serve. Basically my forehands. And then I will try to play smarter than today.
Of course it’s gonna be a different match than Wimbledon because the surface, but if I’m okay and I feel good the ball, I will have a little chance to win.
Q. Are you superstitious a little bit? I mean, you think that history can repeat? 2009 first round you beat Juan Monaco. This time Schwartzman. Ferrer. This time Ferrer. That time Melzer and this time Dominic Thiem.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don’t remember. (Laughter.) I only remember the finals against Roger, and he’s not here. But it’s good point. (Laughter.)
S. HALEP/C. Suarez Navarro
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How would you describe the state of your game right now as you pursue winning your first major?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, my game now I feel is the best that I had ever, because I feel strong on my body. I feel that I can control every tactic during the match. I can change. I’m able to the change the tactic when I need.
I feel strong mentally, even if I have some bad moments during the matches. I feel that I play for every ball, so that means that I’m focused and I really want to win and I’m fighting.
It’s tough to say about the winning a Grand Slam because I never won, so I don’t know the feeling. But I’m working hard to reach that title, to make that dreams come true.
So I’m just working, dreaming at it, and if it’s gonna happen one day, I will be very happy.
Q. It might be Serena Williams may stand in the way of the dream in the next round. If you do play Serena Williams, what for you is the biggest mental challenge and the biggest physical challenge?
SIMONA HALEP: Mental challenge I think doesn’t have to be that important because she’s like the best player in the world. I don’t have to be afraid or to have emotions because I have nothing to lose. It’s just a huge challenge for me. Just playing my game; I will try to do that.
Physically I feel strong enough to face her, but you never know. She has a lot of power when she hits, so I have just to recover my body, to be 100% next round, and to give everything I have.
Q. When you have those moments where you get frustrated, you throw the racquet, are you mad about that particular shot that you missed or are you mad about the whole situation?
SIMONA HALEP: No, just that point. Actually, I’m working on it. I want to change it, but I have the permission from the coach that I can do this stuff when I feel because the next point I’m 100% and I play it to win. (Smiling.)
So I did this change. In the future maybe I will change also this feeling just to be more like positive and to hide more the negative one, even if I miss an easy shot.
Q. And throughout the first four matches, you have had really good first sets. Against Babos played well, but maybe a little bit dip in the second set. Is that a little bit loss of rhythm or nerves or…
SIMONA HALEP: I think nerves, yeah, first. And second, I think the opponents are starting to play really well after a good first set maybe they say that they have nothing to lose anymore and just go and play, in my opinion.
But it’s not easy to keep that rhythm for all match, so I’m trying to do that. But today was better. I had 5-3, but that little break maybe bothered me a little bit, and that’s why she came back good.
But, yeah, it was good, and I could handle the match in the second set and I’m really proud of that.
Q. Out on Armstrong, how different was it compared to Ashe?
SIMONA HALEP: Smaller. You can feel the difference straightaway. And I think the court is a little bit faster. So it was good for me today. I felt really well on that court.
Also, last year I played against Lisicki there, so I had good memories. You know, I just enjoy everywhere I play. I don’t care where I’m playing.
Q. What do you remember most about the first time you saw Serena Williams play, either on TV or…
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, a long time ago. I was a kid.
Q. Or across the net from her?
SIMONA HALEP: At that moment maybe I was dreaming to play against her once, because I was a kid and I didn’t know that I would be so in the top.
Like I said many times, I have learned from her many times. I admired her a lot, so it’s always good to play against her and it’s always good to watch what the best players are doing.
Q. What are some of the many things that you’ve learned?
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, she’s ambitious. She gives everything to win all the matches.
Her focus. She is focused and she doesn’t give up. Three things. And I’m not telling anymore. (Smiling.)
Q. How has that affected you?
SIMONA HALEP: Affected me when I play against her?
Q. No. In just learning that, what difference has that made for you?
SIMONA HALEP: Actually, I’m trying just to do the same things. I’m trying to learn from the best players. I’m trying just to get better and better with these things.
Q. Before the tournament started, did you know that you were in Serena’s quarter or did you just find out?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I knew. I knew. I will tell you something funny. Mr. Tiriac ask me, Where are you? I said, What do you mean? He said, In the draw. I said, I have no idea.
You play Serena or someone else? And I said, Yeah, okay, in Serena in quarterfinals, but it was too far.
Q. So Tiriac told you?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah.
Q. You found out from him?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah.
Q. That’s nice. But did that take any pressure off you, kind of knowing that you respect her so much and you know obviously she’s the No. 1 and dominating and the favorite in that match, did it take any pressure off you for the first part knowing that Serena was looming in the quarters?
SIMONA HALEP: Till now I didn’t feel any pressure. I just wanted to give everything every match. I feel, like I said, safe on my body and I feel that I have a chance every match when I go on court.
I was not thinking about playing against Serena this tournament because it’s far for me. Quarterfinals is pretty far, and you have to win four tough matches to get there.
If it’s gonna be her in the next match it’s gonna be a big challenge, and I have just to play my game, to be aggressive, because otherwise I have no chance.
Q. What do you think it is about your game that’s the most difficult for her?
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, I don’t know. (Smiling.) You have to ask her.
I don’t know. I feel that I have to play aggressive, because if I let her dominate the game it’s gonna be tough for me.
K. PLISKOVA/V. Williams
4-6, 6-4, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You’re standing out there at match point. The crowd was going crazy. Did you feel a little bit lonely at that time?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: A little bit. No, but at least I had my serve. So at least something was on my side. I played pretty good point. I was just thinking, I have to go, I have to put everything into this point. And, yeah, I made it.
Q. Could you talk us through that point. You decided where to serve?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I knew where to serve. I wanted to serve to her forehand. I did pretty good serve, then second shot. Then I went to take the volley.
I just wanted to play aggressive because I knew if she’s going to have a small chance to be aggressive, you know, she’s going to make the point. She stopped missing shots in the end of the third set, so I knew I have to be the one who is dictating the point.
Q. Do you think people will stop discussing now about your problems in Grand Slam tournaments?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, I hope they will stop. Even if they will discuss in the future, I don’t care anymore.
Q. What was going through your mind on your own match points you had previously?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, it was unlucky game because I wanted to risk the second serve when I was up 40-Love. Was a bad miss, double-fault. Then she did five winners in a row. I didn’t do much things bad. I didn’t serve first serve. That was a mistake.
But, yeah, she played everything great at that time. Obviously I was a little bit down after this game because I was so close. I believed I can close it in the last game for 7-5. But then I had to, you know, stay in the game because was last tiebreak in front of me. I couldn’t be just mad that I didn’t make it because I still had a chance to win the tiebreak.
Q. Do you think it takes a long time to learn how to play a match point the way you played the one against you, which is as well as it possibly could have been played?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say yes, you can have few good matches. But to win matches like this, it takes some time. You need to have experience definitely on the big stages, on the big tournaments.
I played against her, played good match against her in Zhuhai. Was also close, but I wouldn’t say it was like here. I was fighting with more things here, especially with the people as well. So it was more difficult.
Yeah, with years, with experience, I’m feeling better on these stages and against top players.
Q. Did you talk to Kristyna at all before the match or after the match? Any insight she can give you because she probably knows you better than anybody else.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah, we talk all the time before the match and even after the match. She’s in China, so we have different times. She was sleeping when I went on the court. I think she was even looking, because she write me right after the match. But we talk every time.
Q. What is the most important thing she tells you before you go on court?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: We didn’t talk about tennis at all. I have three guys here with me, my boyfriend and two coaches. So I talk with them more.
Q. The expression most players use is, If I play to my game, to the best of my ability, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is. When you were out there today, what was your thought process as far as who was on the other side of the net and what relevance was that to your thinking?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I still had my game plan, but also a little bit difficult because the first few games she came up and she was playing really aggressive. I didn’t have much chance to do anything. I wasn’t serving well. She put a lot of pressure on my second serve. She was just the one who was playing aggressive and not me.
The beginning she was just much better than me. But I knew I still going to get the chance, she cannot hold like this. I don’t think there is a player who can hold like this for two sets, especially in girls. So I knew I’m going to get my chance. I got it even in the first set. Like I said, I wasn’t serving pretty well, so that was tough. I went through everything through the second serve. She is so aggressive on the return. I didn’t have many chance there.
In the second set I improved a lot my serve, even the strokes. I was the one who was more aggressive in the end.
Q. What do you think you do best besides serve?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I think I improved my return a lot. So I’m trying to going into every second serve. But with her it’s tough because she’s having such a good serve, even the first one, even the second. So sometimes it’s tough.
But I’m trying to go and be the one who is dictating the rally first.
Q. The crowd was pretty loud today. How did the crowd compare to other crowds you’ve seen before?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, that was the biggest stage what I’ve played. In States obviously against American girl, I knew it’s going to be tough. I knew if she’s down or if it’s somewhere close that the people will cheer for her.
But, you know, I just wanted to beat her, not the crowd, which is impossible to beat 23,000 people. I just were not thinking about the crowd there.
I had my box there. I had my people there. In the important moments, they helped me. I knew they are with me there, so was enough for me.
Q. In all of your matches this week you have been very calm and very measured, even. Were you nervous today, even in the dicey moments in the end?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I was kind of nervous. It was not nervous like shaky. I knew was big match. Maybe if I win it, I’m in quarterfinals. If I lose, I would be sad but still would be a good match. No one would say anything to me because was my first fourth round.
But I was little bit nervous. But in the end I was still saying to myself, I have to be aggressive, not be the one who is pushing. I was fighting with the nerves. I want to just go through and hitting as many first serves as I can.
Q. What were you able to take out of the match from Zhuhai and apply here, if at all?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I was going in my mind through that match, even with my coach. Even it’s not that far what we played, this one. And she played unbelievable match there, as well. Me, as well. I knew it’s going to be tough. Even if I’m playing well, doesn’t mean I will win.
I just, you know, tried my best. She came up the same way where she came up there. She started pretty well. She’s so aggressive, if she’s playing her game, you don’t have any chance to do anything. She’s returning well, serves well. She can serve four aces in one game. There’s not much to do about this.
But like I said, I tried to stay in the game. I got my chances in the first set. In the second set she slowed down a little bit on the first serve, I would say. So it wasn’t that fast anymore. It was more through the rallies. In the rallies, I have bigger chance to win.
Q. In Cincinnati you spoke about the experience of Fed Cup having helped you sort of be ready for the next stage up. You’ve had a lot of pressure matches. How has all that helped you be more prepared for the stage of the US Open?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Definitely that was one of the biggest step for what I did with winning Cincinnati. I had some pressure matches there, as well. Then the semifinal, final against top-five girls, which is never easy. Even if they are not playing that good, it is still hard to beat them.
So it was a big step and big success. So I took a lot from that week. I’m really happy that I took it here with me in New York, and it’s paying even here. I still continue to do the same things what I did before. Like we already talk before, I was struggling a little bit with my game on the Grand Slams. I knew I can play big tennis and good matches, but I couldn’t just, you know, put it in the Grand Slams. I felt little bit pressure on myself.
So happy that right now it’s all paid off and I finally find my game.
Q. You’ve joined the last eight club. Does that mean something to you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: That was the first thing my coach told me. Now since you are in the last eight club, you are going to have one extra badge every year.
I said, Yeah, that’s why I was fighting there.
Just excited to be there. For me this last eight cup doesn’t mean as much to be in the quarterfinal this year.
Q. Venus is 36 years old. How impressive is it to you that she can still play like that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, it’s huge, huge tennis what she’s still playing at that age. I still have the feeling she can play for so many years because she’s moving so well. I don’t know how she feels. But she’s still playing so fast and serving.
If she stays healthy, I think she can still play few years. I remember her, I was little girl watching her, obviously Serena, on TV. They are still playing. They are still playing the best tennis ever. It’s amazing.
Q. Do you think you’ll still be doing that at 36?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Me? No.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, tennis is a lot for me, but I also want to do other things in the life. But I’m not even 30 yet, so let’s see.
Q. They said they wouldn’t be playing this long either, just so you know.
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yeah.
Q. Do you think you can win, be the champion? Have you actually visualized yourself being a champion? Can you see a picture of that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, I’m not thinking about this thing at all. I know it’s still far. It’s closer than it was yesterday, but it’s still far.
What I know, I’m waiting for Radwanska there, which is the girl I never beat, I never did a set on her. I mean, everything is different probably this week. But I have to take it step by step, so I’m not thinking about any trophy this week here yet. Well see.
Q. Now that you sit there making the quarterfinals, how big was that decision not to play the Olympics? Do you think it’s cause and effect at all?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I mean, definitely like I told you already, I did two weeks good preparation home, which probably paid off. But also could happen that I will lose, I don’t know, in quarters with Kuznetsova in Cincinnati. I could lose this one here.
Even if I lose those matches, I would not change my decision what I did because of the Olympics. When you have tough weeks like this and tough days like this, you cannot just play everything. It’s impossible. I just want to stay healthy and put everything into the tournaments, into the big tournaments like this.
That’s why I play the tennis. So for me this is more than Olympics. I’m just really happy that my decision, it wasn’t easy decision, but I’m happy that it paid off.
Q. The third set, you serve a first serve and you fault, some people cheer. Do you notice? Do you care?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Yes, I heard that. Yeah, I was a little bit mad sometimes on the people. But on the other hand maybe if I would be in Czech they would be the same. I was thinking, I cannot think about the people because if I would put it in my head, I would be missing. I cannot be thinking about the things around. I just have to be me on the court and my game.
But this was not nice, and it was some close situation, I’m not sure which score it was. But when you miss a first serve, it’s always tough. Even when she put the pressure on the returns and the people put the pressure between the first serve and second serve, it’s not nice, but I’m happy that I handle it.
S. WAWRINKA/I. Marchenko
6-4, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Being No. 3 in the world, it seems this US Open is very focused on Djokovic and Nadal coming from injuries, del Potro coming back. Do you find you’re flying underneath the radar? You haven’t been on Ashe. Does it bother you? Less pressure?
STAN WAWRINKA: I played first match on Arthur Ashe, first round. But it’s okay.
No, I don’t mind. I don’t mind. It’s normal that all the focus are on Novak and Andy. They’re the two big favorite of the tournament. Del Potro coming back from injury, playing really well again. He won here.
So I don’t really mind. I’m doing my tournament, and we’ll see at the end.
Q. Five-setter the other night, tough match today. How are you feeling physically right now?
STAN WAWRINKA: I feel good. I was a little bit tired yesterday. I didn’t really know what to expect today, this morning. But since the beginning, I was feeling 100%. I was feeling good on the court. Even if it was close from three hours, I don’t think it’s going to affect a lot in two days.
So far I think I’m feeling great.
Q. How can you look forward to the next round? The best backhand meets the best forehand in the next round. It’s on a surface which you’ve never met del Potro, hard court.
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, it’s going to be good challenge to play against him. I’m excited to play against him in the quarterfinal here at the US Open. We play each other already this year at Wimbledon. He beat me. So it’s going to be a good match again.
He’s playing really well. I saw him playing against Ferrer. He’s playing really strong. In Olympic also, is there, is beating the top guys also.
It’s going to be difficult match. But for both of us I think it’s going to be important to try to dictate and be aggressive on the court.
Q. (Question about comparing next round to past matches against each other.)
STAN WAWRINKA: Yes, there’s many things. But in the same time it’s different tournament, different surface. It’s not the second round, also. It’s the quarter. There’s many thing that’s going to be completely new. We never play each other on hard court, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it’s going to be also, how his ball is going to be, how he’s going to play also.
But for sure I have a few things I don’t want to do that I did in Wimbledon.
Q. Give us your assessment of the match today. What was working for you? What were the particular challenges he presented for you?
STAN WAWRINKA: I think in general was really good match except served for the match in the third set. Was really windy. Maybe we don’t see from outside, but on the court was really, really windy, so wasn’t easy to play nice and good tennis. I had to adapt a little bit. I had to play with those conditions, try to make it work for myself.
In general I’m really happy to have won again four sets. I could have won in three, but it happened in four. There’s a lot of positives to be in quarterfinal again.
Q. At all four Grand Slams, you’re in the last eight club.
STAN WAWRINKA: That’s good.
Q. Just wondering how that changes your life.
STAN WAWRINKA: No, that’s great. I think I never imagine having that career when I was younger, to have won two Grand Slams so far. So, yeah, I’m really happy with all the result I’m doing, especially in Grand Slam.
Q. In the club, have you enjoyed any of the benefits of that?
STAN WAWRINKA: I think not yet. As long as you play, you don’t enjoy anything in a Grand Slam. You just have some busy day, trying to make it work to go far in the tournament.
That’s something for sure you can enjoy when you retired and come back. I think it’s a great thing for explayer to come back and watch some tennis, have the possibility to invite some guests.
Q. When things don’t go well for you, we saw that in the five-setter the other night, you seem to regroup really well. There’s a strong belief you can get out of the situation. Is that how you feel when you’re in a bit of trouble?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, that’s most of the time what I feel. I always think there is a solution during the match. Always try to find what I can do better. The only thing I can really control is the way I’m fighting. That’s what I did the other night, is trying to fight as much as I could to win the match.
I turn it. For sure you always get a little bit lucky when you save match point. But I’m really happy now because I won again today and now I’m in quarterfinal.
Q. Against del Potro, do the tactics change because of the way he hits his backhand compared to the way he did before?
STAN WAWRINKA: I don’t really think so. When I play him on grass, he was slicing a lot, that’s for sure. But also was good on grass to do the slice he was doing.
If I look now the way he’s playing on hard court, against Ferrer, against all the other players in the Olympics, his backhand is strong. He’s returning. He doesn’t use the slice as much as he did on grass.
At the end I think the tactic is more or less the same.
K. NISHIKORI/I. Karlovic
6-3, 6-4, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Talk about how happy you are with your game against Ivo. Did Ivo seem a little off today or were you just ready for him?
KEI NISHIKORI: I don’t know. I just, you know, focus my tennis. Today I return really well. That’s for sure help my game today. Able to get the break, you know, first and second set early. So that makes me a little more relax.
And, yeah, my serve was much better today. Able to hit a lot of first serve in. Third set, it was a little bit tight in the end. But, yeah, really good focus today. Happy with my win today.
Q. For a big server like Ivo, did you work on your return?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it’s never easy, someone serving like Ivo. You know, great first serve, and second serve too. It’s never easy to return those kind of serves.
I mean, I practiced little bit yesterday. But, you know, I tried to stay down. I been returning well, so that’s also helping today’s game, too. Yeah, especially today I think play one of the best match, serve, return, everything, groundstrokes. So was good match.
K. NISHIKORI/I. Karlovic
6-3, 6-4, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How were you feeling out on the court today? You seemed sluggish in the first two sets.
IVO KARLOVIC: In the beginning, it was horrible. I didn’t really feel the ball or anything. But then as the match was going on, I did begin to play a little bit better.
Actually in the end, was really good. But it was late already.
Q. Were you tired?
IVO KARLOVIC: Tired a little bit. Also all my earlier matches were in the night. It was day match. It was completely different conditions. It was also little bit windy, I guess. I don’t know. I just didn’t feel the ball at all.
Q. Did you see something different in Nishikori’s game since last time?
IVO KARLOVIC: No, nothing changed. I mean, if I hit an ace, there is nothing to change. I don’t know about the question.
Q. Are you happy with your performance? You’ve had a great summer. Are you a little disappointed?
IVO KARLOVIC: No, it was great. This was my best US Open ever. I never reached this far. Always you want more. It would be better if I played well today. But didn’t happen.
All in all, it was really great US Open for me.
A. MURRAY/G. Dimitrov
6-1, 6-2, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Describe what you were feeling out on court tonight.
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, first, obviously it’s a great experience for me to get out there and play a night match on Ashe. Obviously I’m very disappointed from the result. I feel I’ve been doing really well the past five, six weeks, practicing-wise, winning a few good and close matches when I had to.
Obviously today I ran out of fuel I think physically and mentally. For sure I was a little bit overwhelmed to get out there, you know, playing that prime time match. Of course, it’s a great experience for me. Andy right now is the best player out there. Of course, he deserves all the credit today.
Q. How difficult was it to play against Andy tonight?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: I knew what I had to do. I didn’t execute things the right way. I did a lot of unforced errors. First serve was gone. Andy was just putting everything back in the court.
I didn’t feel he played unbelievable tennis, but I felt I just did a lot of mistakes. For sure he has a lot of confidence right now, a lot of matches behind his back. For sure he knows how to play in moments like that. Pretty experienced player.
So, yeah, it’s all my fault what happened on the court out there.
Q. Did you feel early on that it wasn’t going to be your night tonight?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: The thing is I tried. It’s not that I didn’t try. This is what I just said to my coach right now in the locker room. I mean, I knew Andy is going to play good tennis.
Even the first game I had breakpoints. Pretty unlucky I think the first game, especially with the two serves on the line.
What else? I mean, how would you know? I mean, anything can happen at any moment during a match. Obviously the first set, I felt, I mean, okay, it’s just the first set. Slowly I think he was just getting his way into the court. He was moving me well, playing the right shots, just executing a lot of balls the right way.
Even if I just kept trying, I kept missing or I was going for a little bit too much on the shots. As I said, Andy is the best player right now out there for me, so he deserved the win today, for sure.
Q. How do you look at your US Open overall?
GRIGOR DIMITROV: Well, as I said, I think it’s been a great almost 10 weeks of traveling for me, starting in Washington. A few stumbles here and there, obviously a lot of traveling, a lot of practice and everything.
I’m kind of looking forward to just step back for maybe a week, just rest a little bit, just analyze what has been happening. But, as I said, especially the past five, six weeks I feel I’ve been doing the right things, been really good with my professionalism on and off the court. Discipline has been better I think overall. My game plan is a little bit better.
So I think things are moving a little bit forward. Again, I’m pretty disappointed right now. It’s very hard for me to hide it. I expected definitely better from myself. But I just ran out of gas. I think not so much physically, but I think it was just more emotionally, mentally. I knew that I was just getting a little bit tired.
A. MURRAY/G. Dimitrov
6-1, 6-2, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Where does that rank performance-wise?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I played very well. Tactically I played a very good match. I don’t think I made any mistakes there. I kept good concentration throughout.
Yeah, I mean, it was a really good match. I think Grigor played his best, but I didn’t really give him a chance to get into the match.
Q. Is it just the way things eke out? It was so different to the way you played against Lorenzi.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, that’s the beauty of an individual sport. Just because you play badly a couple of days ago doesn’t mean I’m going to play badly tonight.
My best tennis is in there. Not every day do you play your best. When you’re not playing, as I said the other day, when you don’t play your best and win, it’s a really positive thing. A lot of people worry about that or panic, like, This is terrible. You played one bad match.
I won. I’m still in the tournament. I was able to play great tennis today.
Q. It seemed like Grigor was a bit overwhelmed by playing a night match on Ashe. Were you able to sense that and take advantage of that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think that helped. I mean, I don’t think he started the match, like, really badly. He had a couple of breakpoints in the first game. I don’t think he started, like, really badly.
But once I got up in the score, wasn’t giving him any free points, I could sense it was getting tough for him. I just wanted to keep my foot on the gas, which I didn’t really do the other day. That was the one thing that I wasn’t happy with against Lorenzi. When I did win a first set that was tight, didn’t play my best, I kind of let him back into the match after I got a break early in the second.
I wanted too make sure today if I got ahead, I stayed on top of him, I didn’t have any dip in concentration or my level, and I stuck to my tactics that were working well. That was it.
It’s easier for him to him to answer how he felt about the situation or the occasion. I just know from my side, I didn’t give him an opportunity once I was ahead to let him back in the match.
Q. Did you do anything different to prepare, considering he’s had success against you in the past?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. Well, clearly not because normally if you’ve lost against someone the last time, that would suggest you might be more nervous going in against him or whatever. I didn’t feel like that tonight. I was well-prepared.
I try to, in slams, it’s maybe a little bit easier to prepare for matches than it is at other events because often you’re playing back-to-back days and you don’t have as much time to do a practice session beforehand to work on some of the things you might need to use against them.
Yesterday, had a good practice. Went over the game plan. Was pretty clear with what I wanted to do.
The last match we played I don’t think had any bearing on tonight.
Q. You’re going to play Nishikori. You have a very good record against him. Do you think you’re comfortable to play against him in terms of playing style or experience?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I think Kei is pretty experienced now. I don’t think that will be the difference in the match.
I have played well against him in the past. But, you know, he likes these conditions. He plays well in New York. He’s made his only slam final here. He beat Novak here. He’s obviously I think playing pretty well this summer. He played some good stuff at the Olympics and won the bronze.
I played a really good match against him when we played a few weeks ago. I’m aware I’ll need to do that again in a couple days if I want to beat him because he’s one of the best players in the world, plays extremely well on hard court.
It’s going to be very, very tough.
Q. (Question about serving fastest serve in tournament.)
ANDY MURRAY: I haven’t really. You know, I mean, I didn’t hit like a bunch of serves that were like 139, 140, 141. I think that was just a one-off serve. Sometimes the gun can be a bit wrong possibly.
I served a bunch in the low 130s, mid-130s, which was good. I got a lot of free points with my serve tonight, which I did the first match against Rosol but maybe not so much against Granollers and Lorenzi.
You know, the conditions do a lot for you to serve quick. You know, the balls are fast. I wanted to use that to my advantage as the tournament goes on. I did go up in tension a little bit from the last match. Maybe that allowed me to feel like I was able to swing a little bit harder.
Yeah, haven’t changed anything technically in my serve in the last 48 hours.
Q. I wonder if you saw much of Kyle’s match last night. If you did, what did you make of his performance and of Novak’s?
ANDY MURRAY: I saw like nine, ten points. I’ve been sleeping great since I’ve been here. I don’t know why. Last night I tried to get in bed early and I slept for 12 hours straight. I never do that. I never sleep that long.
I went to bed very early. I spoke to Leon a little bit today. It seemed like Novak played extremely well, and Kyle maybe didn’t play as well as he could until the third set.
But, again, it’s not maybe Kyle’s fault. If Novak plays great tennis, it’s not easy to play well against him. Maybe it wasn’t until the third set that maybe Novak’s level dropped a little bit which allowed Kyle to play a bit better.
It’s not easy playing against the best player in the world in a night match when you’ve never played on that court before. It’s tricky. I’m sure Kyle will learn from it.
But he’s had a great, great tournament.
Q. Do you already have the next Davis Cup semifinal on your mind? What are your expectations?
ANDY MURRAY: It’s kind of in the back of my mind, yeah. I’m not thinking about it too much. I mean, I’m guessing I’ll obviously be in the team. Yeah, head there pretty much as soon as I’m finished here. Maybe have a couple of days at home, then start getting ready for that.
But, yeah, it should be a good match. I mean, Del Potro is obviously playing very well just now, which when the tie was sort of first scheduled, we didn’t know really whether he was going to play or how he was feeling. But he’s playing great just now. They have a lot of players to choose from.
It’s going to be, I think, an exciting Davis Cup match. The crowd will definitely help us. There’s always a great atmosphere there.
Q. (Question regarding being in favor of shortening matches.)
ANDY MURRAY: I’m not. I’m not really pro shortening matches at the slams. I’m not necessarily against it either. If that is the way that sort of tennis is going and that is what fans and TV want, that’s what they want to see, then we go for it or try it at least.
That’s the thing. You don’t have to stick by something. You can try it, see how it goes, potentially go back. That’s also a possibility.
But, yeah, I’m not there to just sort of represent myself. You’re there to do what the whole tour wants. If the tour wants to go to shorter matches, then that’s fine. We can try it. If it’s a success, great. If it’s not, we go back to the old way.
But I think it’s quite a long way from happening. I’m happy to try stuff. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, then you can always change back.
Q. Now that you’re on the ATP players council, where do you stand on the fifth-set tiebreak or playing it out?
ANDY MURRAY: I think it doesn’t affect loads of matches really. I think shortening the matches, doing it by playing first to four in sets, first to five even, or best-of-three, whatever, is a better way of shortening matches rather than just the tiebreak in the fifth set. I don’t know how many tiebreaks in the fifth set has there been here. One, two. Do you know?
Q. I don’t know.
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know either. But I’d imagine it’s not very many. Then there would be like, I don’t know, 15, 20 five-set matches. It would make sense to look at that first if you were wanting to shorten matches rather than the tiebreak in the fifth, in my opinion.
Q. I’m looking at your match against Nishikori in the Davis Cup, for example.
ANDY MURRAY: What happened there? We didn’t go to a tiebreak in the fifth, did we?
Q. Sorry, excuse me.
ANDY MURRAY: Close, but not quite. I think, yeah, it was 6-3 in the fifth maybe. I don’t know, 6-3, 6-1.
Q. When you see other players playing well, does it affect how you play? Do you think about sending a message out to other players in the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: Not purely because I know how much can change in a couple of days. Also matchups, as well. Like the way I would play against Kei would be very different how I would try to play against Grigor.
You know, it’s good for myself. I’m more sort of concerned about how I’m feeling just now. It was a very quick match, one where I played very well, got a little bit of confidence back after not playing well a couple days ago. That was very positive for me.
If it has an impact on any of the other players in the tournament, I don’t know. You’d have to ask them. But I certainly wasn’t out on the court thinking about Kei when I was playing, or Stan or del Potro, anyone else that’s left in my half of the draw. I’m just trying to win the matches as quickly and efficiently as I can.
A. KONJUH/A. Radwanska
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Describe what it was like on the court today.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, she was playing pretty good tennis, serving very well. I just couldn’t do any more I guess today. I was really trying. I was just too slow today.
Q. With her power, it’s a difficult thing to defuse. What were you trying to do to get her out of rhythm tonight?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I was just trying to mix it up and not play in one spot.
Well, sometimes is difficult when the ball is going really big from the other side. So it’s hard to control, really put the ball where you want.
That’s what I was trying to do. But, well, she was really solid.
Q. Did you feel like the match was in your hands at all tonight or was it really on her racquet the way she was playing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, there’s always a way to turn it around. That’s tennis, so anything can happen. Definitely it was only one break in the beginning, then I was not really close to break again. Maybe there was one or two chances. Then I didn’t really hold my serve. I didn’t serve good enough.
Then, well, I’m here not as a winner.
Q. Do you think the roof made any difference? Would you have rather played that match in open air than with the roof closed?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I’m not really sure why they close the roof.
Q. Did they tell you anything?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, the risk of rain. But, well, there was always risk of rain, I guess.
Q. So you would have preferred if it was open?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: I don’t know what would happen if that would be open. Sometimes I just don’t understand why they’re closing the roof.
Q. You’re the only top player that’s played her twice now. What is it about her game that makes her a top-rated 18-year-old?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, she’s really making good angles in the rallies. You go from very far from the court, then she have open court. That’s dangerous. She makes good angles from both sides, and of course good serve as well. That makes it really dangerous opponent.
A. KONJUH/A. Radwanska
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you just describe reaching your first quarterfinals of a major.
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, I’m just really happy. I played her in Wimbledon. It was a tough match. This time I took opportunities. You know, I was just going for it. It was the key of the match, so…
Q. Is it fair to say that’s the best match you’ve played on the pro level?
ANA KONJUH: Probably, yeah. My coach said so. I believe her. I mean, I’m obviously seeing that from the other side. I’m real excited about my performance tonight. My serve was pretty good tonight. I don’t think she had any answers.
So, you know, I just took the opportunity and went for it, enjoyed the moment.
Q. How much were you able to enjoy it? It’s Ashe, the roof is closed, sound is weird, playing Aga. How calm were you out there?
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, this is my first time playing on Ashe actually. Under the roof, it’s a new thing this year. I’m real happy I got to experience that. It’s a bit different than usual.
I think that suit me better than her. I didn’t have any wind or sun or anything that’s going to distract me, so I just played my game and gave my best.
Q. On court you said it’s been a tough season. What’s been so tough about it?
ANA KONJUH: I had a few health issues. I had my back. Then I sprained my ankle with Aga in Wimbledon. I was out for like two or three months. That’s kind of had an effect on me.
I’m still young. I still need to experience things. I think I didn’t have that many matches as I should. It was tough to come back every time.
But, you know, here I am in the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam, so I cannot complain.
Q. Some fans at the US Open are probably getting to know about you. Did you know until a few days ago when people went onto the website to look at your matches, your picture wasn’t even there. Did you notice that?
ANA KONJUH: I saw on the live score, yeah, on the US Open app, yeah, it says like bio or something. I don’t know if I have a picture now.
Q. Did it bother you? Are you fine with it?
ANA KONJUH: No, not really. Like probably most of the other players that are young or coming didn’t have pictures. I don’t think that’s a really big issue.
Q. What was your reaction? Did you know what was going on when that noise came as you served in the last game?
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, I heard players complaining about it. So when they told me that they are closing the roof, I was like, okay, let’s experience that. I didn’t play under it.
But it didn’t bother me that much. I hear the ball. I just didn’t hear maybe the umpire that well. But with the music and everything, I mean, I won tonight, so I cannot complain about anything.
Q. The last game as you were tossing the ball for a serve…
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, I don’t know what was that. I just got scared at the moment. You’re focused on tossing the ball. Then something’s happening. Yeah, I don’t know.
Q. Does joining the last eight club mean anything to you? Do you know much about that?
ANA KONJUH: Last eight, like quarterfinalists?
Q. There’s a club you get to join now.
ANA KONJUH: Oh, I didn’t know that. I do now.
It’s really a privilege for me to be here, just playing for the finals. I’m 18. I won the juniors here. I have good memories. I love the city. I’m just really happy just to have this chance.
Q. Lately in the women’s and men’s game, it’s been mostly older players at the top. Do you think you’re able to break through?
ANA KONJUH: Well, you know, my season wasn’t the best so far. But I’m enjoying every moment. I love the game. Just being on the Ashe tonight, feeling that atmosphere, it was really great for me.
Serena is still on the top. But I heard like Kerber is close or somebody. I think that, you know, things might change in the future. I’m really hoping that I’ll be one of them.
Q. You won the junior Grand Slam here. You are one of the best junior players. Your best friend and rival Bencic got into the top 10. Do you think it took longer than you were expecting to come to this level?
ANA KONJUH: I was really happy for her. Last year I think she broke the top 10. We are still really great friends. We grew up together. I remember I was playing under-14s. You have great memories together.
But well done to her. She had a great seasons. Now she’s been injured a bit, I think. She’s like top 30-something now. But I feel like she’s going to come back soon and she has the game.
Q. When you were 16 or 17, did you think you could get to this level?
ANA KONJUH: At that age, you know, you are still the juniors. I was just coming to senior tournaments. Maybe took a little bit while for me because, you know, I had a different path, chose different tournaments. I had some health issues before. Now she has them.
It’s just different road for everybody. She took the opportunities. She played well. I think my time is coming now.
Q. How frustrating were the last three years? In addition to the health issues this year, you also had the surgery.
ANA KONJUH: A little bit. But, you know, when you are 18, then you have a surgery behind you, a few months off, it’s not that easy to always, you know, come back. You need matches, you need the experience. Other players have that, but I don’t.
I’m just trying to enjoy every moment. Yeah, I was a bit frustrated at first. But, you know, now I’m just trying to accept things as they go.
Q. Was there special motivation today after what happened in Wimbledon? You had your chances.
ANA KONJUH: Yeah, last night I was replaying the match in my head. I had two match points or three, I’m not sure. I missed my forehands on all two or three. I just didn’t go for it. I had the opportunity; didn’t take it. I think that’s the experience I need right now.
Obviously, you know, I know that I have a game to beat her. She’s a great player. I was at my best tonight. The performance was really good.
Q. Pliskova, what are your memories of playing her? You’re not far off in age. What do you expect from that match?
ANA KONJUH: I don’t remember if we played in a senior match. But she’s, you know, a great player. She had a great season so far. Winning Cincinnati I’m sure she’s full of confidence. She’s a great server. Maybe we have a day off tomorrow so I hope to rest well and just try to practice, you know, just be 100% on the match.
Q. Does it feel at all weird to think or have you thought that you’re one match away from a Grand Slam semifinal?
ANA KONJUH: I’m trying not to think about it, as you know I did last night, you know, if I win this quarters. You know, I’m taking day by day. I didn’t know I was playing Pliskova till I heard on the court.
I don’t like to know who I’m playing if I’m in a match. After the match I hear that, then I prepare for that.
I’m just trying to focus on each player for the day for the match and just give my best.