THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How does it feel to be back here? Can you just give me an assessment of your opening match?
DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah, excited to be back here. I play really well here and I love playing in front of all the awesome fans. Just being in my home country and feeling like I’m at home here in the desert, it’s an incredible venue to play in. All of the courts are really special.
Yeah, I have really great memories from last year. I just love competing out here. The weather is beautiful. It’s a great environment, and, yeah, excited.
Q. Just in terms of the match itself, just happy with how you played?
DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. I got off to a little bit of a slow start, a little bit of first-round nerves.
But, you know, I think I was doing everything correctly. Just a couple of minor adjustments. So, yeah, pretty much from 4-1 down it was smooth sailing the rest of the way through and didn’t really let my foot off the gas once I got back into the match.
Very happy with how I played and how I handled it from being 4-1 down and not getting too discouraged and just kept being persistent about what I was doing.
Q. You’re pretty good with tactical stuff. What’s your take on these courts? They don’t seem to favor power players. It’s hard to control the ball. But if you’re kind of a pure runner, it’s too slow to actually kind of counter punch. What’s your sense of what works?
DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah, honestly, for me personally, I don’t pay too much attention to, like, the court speed and the surface as much, because it’s really out of my control. We’re dealing with, you know, what we are dealing with.
I think people kind of fall into the trap of, you know, blaming those types of things when maybe it doesn’t suit their game or it’s not ideal. Let’s face it, every day things aren’t going to be perfect.
I love playing on these courts. I think they suit my game really well, because I can hit through the court. I do think, you know, playing in the daytime versus playing at night, it seems to slow down a bit at night. But other than that, I love playing out here, and I have had a lot of success in other tournaments in California.
Yeah, it must be something in the air for me (smiling). But I love it.
Q. Sometimes when players make fabulous runs, there is a feeling of, Wow, I really did it. Other times you just really build on that for the future. Talk about sort of the emotions of leaving Melbourne and building on that or just that satisfaction.
DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah, there is obviously a lot of wonderful and happy emotions based off my results in Melbourne. It was one of my goals in the beginning of the year to make second week of a slam, and I accomplished that right away.
But I also have other goals that I would like to accomplish for the rest of the year, and I’m kind of just using that experience as a steppingstone to achieve the other goals that I have.
So, you know, I’m very proud of my performance there, but I’m kind of moving forward. I have my mindset, you know, kind of going forward and not looking back too much.
Q. Does that give you a kind of confidence out on court at crunch time, just knowing that you did so well?
DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah. I think I had some great wins there. I played some really tough opponents. Was put in some situations where I was down and was able to come back, and so I can use that as a great confidence builder and something to carry onto the court for the rest of my life during these matches.
But at the end of the day, I’m not really thinking about it too much now because I’m just thinking about the present and future.
Q. Don’t know who you will play next, but it’s either the World No. 1 or Mladenovic. If it is Naomi, talk about that opportunity and what you think that match might be like for you.
DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah, I have played Naomi before. I have never played Mladenovic. I’d definitely like to get another crack at Osaka based off of the last match we played. There is no way it could go any worse for me. That’s really as bad as it can get in terms of the score and how quickly the match went.
So it would be another great opportunity for me to go out and play against the No. 1 player in the world and showcase my game, and I’m here in the States and love competing.
So I think whoever I get to play, it’s going to be an exciting match and we’re going to have an exciting crowd.
Q. What’s the spotlight been like since Australia? Especially this last week, I presume Tennis Channel and probably all these different outlets trying to get some time from you. How are you adjusting to that a little bit?
DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah, it’s definitely been a switch. I certainly get a lot more attention now than I have ever had before. So it’s interesting when I’m going to the bathroom or I’m just walking between courts, people are running up to take a picture or an autograph. And it’s such a great feeling having so many incredible fans recognizing my success, just appreciating my talent.
But it definitely can be overwhelming. Sometimes it’s just weird when we are walking by and we hear these little voices, like, Danielle! Danielle!
So it’s a little bit of a switch, but it’s been really nice. So just kind of going to dinner the other night and people kind of recognizing you, it’s interesting. I guess I’m just not used to it. It’s very flattering at the same time.
Q. Melanie Oudin used to talk about coming out of the ladies’ room at the movies and having all these fans say, Oh, I want your… What’s sort of the weirdest situation where you have had people want your autograph? Any you can think of?
DANIELLE COLLINS: Yeah, there has been some interesting ones. I don’t know if I want to highlight any of that publicly, because — yeah, I don’t want to embarrass anybody.
You know, at the end of the day, people are appreciating your success and talent, and it’s all out of good energy and kindness.
So even though sometimes it can be uncomfortable if you’re not necessarily on your game and you’re in a situation where you didn’t think that people would recognize you, it’s still — you know, we try to take the time and be polite and give time to everybody as much as we can.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2019-03-10 03:17:00 GMT