Ekaterina Makarova’s Press Conference after Her Victory in the Citi Open Semifinals
Congratulations, it was quite a hard match. How did you pull out in the end?
Ekaterina Makarova: It was a very tough match, she hits so hard and flat and low. So I tried to stay as low as I can. I started today a bit slower than I was to, but then in the second set I tried to step in a little bit more and let her move and it started working. Then she got tired and started missing more. I’m happy that finally finished with my win.
Congratulations, you finally broke through into the final here in D.C. after reaching the semis three times. What does it mean to you and why do you like playing here in D.C. for so many years?
E.M.: Yes, today I was so happy that I finally passed that semifinals round. I was so happy, and I like this city, as I told yesterday. I love this tournament. I like starting the US Open Series here and I enjoy so much everything outside the court and on the court. It’s just so comfortable here for me. Yes, it looks like I love this tournament.
What was the weather condition? I know that the wind was whipping around quite bit. Seemed like it when you tossed and served.
E.M.: Today with the heat it was very comfortable condition but it was so windy. So sometimes you don’t know what is better: when it is so hot and quiet but when you feel that you need some ice or when you are struggling with the wind. It was tough sometimes but I think that it’s good that it was not all the time, sometimes it was coming and then, maybe for a couple of minutes it was quiet. When in the morning I went with my mom to have a breakfast, we were like “What is this? I don’t remember that there was such a strong wind here”.
We know that you’re playing a German in the final. What are your thought on either having a match with Petkovic or Goerges?
E.M.: They are both very good players, very good fighters. They are from the same country so today will be kind of deciding between them. We’ll see who wins. It doesn’t matter to me with whom to play in the final. I will just enjoy my final and will fight until the end.
You had obviously an unexpected retirement with Halep and then tough three sets today. How are you feeling mentally? Do you feel like you are in a very strong place and with you mind set?
E.M.: I’m feeling pretty well. I don’t feel tired physically or mentally. I’m quite happy with my condition. With every tournament you are improving your game. Say, I started not with the game I wanted, but now it’s getting better and I just want to play and it is shown by me game – yesterday and today I was losing for a set but was trying to stay on court and fight.
One of the male players complained about the court conditions, bounces on the court. Did you notice anything different about the surface?
E.M.: Yesterday the Supervisor also was asking me about the court, but I think here every time it was like this. I don’t remember and I don’t feel that it changed. On central court, because every time I play the semis only on the central court and every time I think that the outside courts are a little bit better than the central court. Because today actually I had a couple shots that I missed, like I was here and the ball didn’t bounce where it was supposed to. So I missed such balls maybe three or four times.
Why was the Supervisor asking you about the court?
E.M.: I don’t know. Just to know and let the organization team know, I think.
It’s the middle of the season and the hard courts. Are making any goals for this part of the season like ranking goals, or are you going to take it just tournament by tournament?
E.M.: I don’t want to plan anything, you know. I like the US Open Series always when I come here, waiting for the US Open, it’s such a great Grand Slam, and Manhattan… I’m from Moscow so maybe that’s why I enjoy being in a rush of the city. I’m just playing tournament by tournament, even match by match. And if I play my best tennis the ranking will become better.
One more, about your team. Who’s working with you these days? You said your mom is traveling with you, is she coaching you now?
E.M.: No, I’m coached now by myself, but English Nigel Sears will be helping me in New Haven and the US Open, so I’m in touch with him on the phone. But my mom is here, and my boyfriend just came from the plane during the first set, so I have a great team here.