Rome 2016 2nd Round after win over Kerber

Rome 201632Genie def. Angelique Kerber (GER) 6-1 5-7 7-5

Q. I know it’s early, but given your recent history, would you rate this one already as one of your biggest wins?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think in terms of her ranking, yeah, you know, for sure. I mean, it turned into a battle. I was kind of cruising a little bit, and then I made it complicated for myself. At least I stayed, you know, tough until the end.

Q. What’s different about your feelings between the yesterday match and the today match? And if you feel like your level is going up day by day?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: They are similar in terms of, you know, tough three-setters, having to really fight against opponents who got a lot of balls back.
But I did feel like I was playing better tennis today, especially at the beginning. That’s how I want to play, you know. So that gives me confidence knowing I can play that way against one of the best players in the world.

Q. I thought you did really well to keep your composure today. That’s a very difficult thing to do in a match where you have to bounce back. What were you telling yourself? How were you able to keep your composure today and stay positive?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I just told myself to keep going, you know, and to play a bit better and try, you know, to do things that I knew I wasn’t doing so well, to do them better.
I knew I wanted to kind of control the point a bit more. You know, every time I finished the point at the net, whether I won the point or lost the point, at least I knew I was doing the right thing and I was in the right mental frame of mind. I put pressure on her regardless even if I happened to lose that one point.
I was telling myself little things to try and remind myself to try and play better and told myself to battle. Can’t expect an easy match from a great player.

Q. How rewarding is a win like today, especially when you look back and considering where you were with your game and with everything 12 months ago? How rewarding is that sort of win that you got today?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Sorry, what’s the question?

Q. How rewarding it is considering…
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: How rewarding? For sure I’m happy to win, but at the same time I’m disappointed in myself having a lead like I had or, you know, I feel like I could have done better in that second set, you know.
My goal next time is if I’m in a position like that is to really be more mentally disciplined and keep pushing. Because, you know, these players, if you give them a chance they will come back.

Q. You said you had a big training block in February. It was kind of an offseason for you because of the concussion and everything. Do you feel you start peaking now physically maybe? Do you feel really well finally?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, I have been putting in a lot of hard work since I was able to start training again at the end of last year. You know, I don’t think there is like a magic formula to know exactly when you will peak. For me, I just put my head down and kept working, trusting that it will come at some point.
I’m trying to get that done. You know, today was one match, so I can’t just relax and be like, Okay, it’s done, you know. I have another match tomorrow. Just gotta keep going.

Q. Talking about that second set, when you talk about needing to be more mentally disciplined, what went wrong? Because it did look like it flipped because your level dropped as opposed to her level going up. And then in the third set, kind of pulling that out late in the set, how were you able to do that?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Yeah, for me, I definitely felt my level go down. I think, you know, I got a bit ahead of myself and a couple of times trying to finish the point too soon. I expected to kind of serve and win it right away. Obviously against someone like Angie, that will not happen all the time.
So I think I was getting a bit ahead of myself and trying to just finish it, and that’s not the right mentality for me to have.
And then, I mean, I just tried to stay with her, you know. At the end in the third set we were kind of always holding serve. I kept focusing on my serve, trying to stay with her and believing in myself if I keep pushing, if I keep pushing, maybe I will get a chance. Luckily at 5-All, I did.

Q. You have had a couple of rounds on the European clay, a couple of years you’ve played that Madrid, Rome, Paris swing. How would you rate the clay courts or how different do you feel they are with the altitude of Madrid, here the heavier clay, and Paris is different because you have less clay on the courts? How well do Madrid and Rome actually prepare you for the French?
EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think Rome is more similar to the French. Madrid is definitely tricky because it’s clay but it’s at an altitude.
So I love coming here and, you know, feeling a bit more similar to the Paris conditions. You know, regardless, it’s clay and you have to grind and kind of embrace that. And I do. So I enjoy it.