THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. I think you know her game well from practice, right, Karolina? You practice together?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah. We practiced a few times together. We are good friends. Yeah, we practiced a lot. Yeah, a few times together.
So of course I know her game and she knows mine.
Q. What’s it like when you get onto a match court? Did she surprise you, despite what you knew?
BELINDA BENCIC: No, she didn’t surprise me. Of course she knows she has the big serve and big ground strokes. Obviously my plan was to try to make her rally and try to be good in the defensive, and then, you know, also try to be dominant when I can.
No, she didn’t surprise me.
Q. She just described your current form as being in the flow, not thinking, just playing. Would you agree with that? If so, can you describe that feeling, what it’s like to feel that way?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I definitely agree. Of course, you know, I’m very confident. You know, I’m really just trying to take it one step at a time. Of course now it’s been a few steps more. But, you know, I’m not putting pressure on myself even now. You know, I’m just playing.
I said yesterday the less I think on the court the better it is. When you’re confident, you can really just trust your instincts and you don’t have to think about it at all.
I’m definitely playing how I feel it, and it’s going well so I’m not planning on changing that.
Q. Just talking about your serve a little bit and how it’s improved since, you know, years before, can you talk about what you’ve done? Is it just a matter of getting older and stronger? Or is there actual technical tactical things about your serve that’s changed?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I also feel like it has improved. Definitely I have been practicing it a lot, but it’s not like I crazy thought about it and changed something. I feel with the serve it’s very — like, the balance is very thin. When you’re trying to change your serve, it can also destroy your game because you’re thinking about it all the time. If something is not working and you’re thinking technical, then it’s not really good.
You know, I think I also started to feel it a little bit more myself, what I have to do.
Yeah, as I said, the service motion is also just instinct. You know, it should be. Yeah, I think it’s also very mental, the serve. So when you’re feeling under pressure, you know, when the receiver is returning well, so it can change.
Yeah, I’m definitely also not thinking about that. So thank you for asking me (smiling).
Q. What does a result like this mean to you? Obviously it was already your first quarterfinal of a premier mandatory. Now semifinal. You’re beating top 5 players just like you did in Dubai. I mean, does this feel new? Is there anything different about it?
BELINDA BENCIC: No. I mean, yes/no. Of course, I’m really happy. It’s been a dream. I wouldn’t believe I win today again. You know, of course I’m not going to the court with any expectation. I’m just trying to play. And this is the mentality I have, and this is the mentality I’m going to keep having.
So, yeah, it feels obviously great, but it’s not like something very new. But also, like, it’s very positive feeling, of course. You know, I’m just very happy.
Q. Do you want to talk about your opponent in the semifinal, Angie or Venus?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, both, very tough. I played Angie this year in Hopman Cup. Venus last time in Australian Open. Obviously it’s incredible to play these kind of champions in semifinal of premier mandatory tournaments.
Like, it will be of course huge respect to all my opponents. Yeah, I will see.
Q. When you are about to face one or two champions versus players that you just slayed, is your mindset different against those two?
BELINDA BENCIC: Against, like, who?
Q. Either Venus or Angie. Do you see them differently than, say, the top 10 players who you just destroyed?
BELINDA BENCIC: Well, I hope I can play also against people who are not top 10 (smiling).
No, of course, I mean, it’s not like I’m thinking about their ranking or, like — you know, on the court you’re not thinking about who they are, like, personally. Of course you know they are great players, but you’re seeing them as a player with tactical sides.
So definitely it doesn’t depend on who’s on the other side. I’m focusing on myself, on my game, just doing my best, you know. Like, yeah, win or lose, doesn’t matter. I will just fight, you know.
Q. Can you talk a bit about the role of fitness in your success this season? 8-1 in three-setters. By fitness I don’t mean being healthy. Maybe stronger? More flexible?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, definitely. I forgot to say that yesterday when someone asked me about the secret of playing well. I think that is a huge part, as well, what makes me better.
I think I did great steps forward in the fitness side. I definitely feel like I’m moving much, much better on the court than I have ever moved.
And also, you know, I actually never feel like I’m getting tired or, like, more tired than my opponent on the court. I think that was the huge improvement. I think you definitely need it against the top of the world to be just incredibly fit and not just, like, one week but obviously many weeks in a row.
Q. Could you go back and just talk about the period when you were working with Martina Hingis a fair amount and what she contributed to your game and how she might have helped you?
BELINDA BENCIC: Well, I was working with her mother when I was — I mean, from 6 years old until 18. So very long time. Obviously Martina, when she was on the tournament, she was helping me a lot. Obviously now she’s still engaged in the Fed Cup.
So we have contact there. You know, obviously she gives me any advice, yeah.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2019-03-14 21:59:00 GMT