THE MODERATOR: Can you tell us about your match tonight.
PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, it’s been a very tricky match. Ons, she’s coming playing very good and very confidently. I knew I had to be very consistent and very solid and as well very aggressive. So that combination. I think I did it really well today and that’s why I won the match.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you explain how excited you are about what you’ve achieved in reaching this final and what you’re expecting going into the final against Azarenka, which will be a first-time meeting?
PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, I’m really excited to be in the final. I still can’t believe it. It’s an amazing feeling for me to be here.
Of course, against Vika, she’s an amazing champion. She has been here a lot of times. She has a lot of experience there. I expect a tough match.
But I’m playing good. I’m playing confident. I will try to go for it and let’s see how it goes.
Q. The final is a great dream for you. Probably you’re playing the best tennis. If this is the best tennis of your life, what do you think is giving you the confidence to play like you are now?
PAULA BADOSA: Well, it’s a little bit of everything. I think I improved a lot on my tennis. Mentally I think I’m very confident. I’m believing every point. Every day I’m working very hard as well. I think I’m progressing on a little bit of everything and that’s what is making my level going up. That’s why I’m in a final and playing against the best of the world.
Q. When you won the girls French Open in 2015, that was a huge moment for you. How does this occasion compare?
PAULA BADOSA: I think it’s not comparable. In that moment I was super young. I didn’t even know what tennis almost was in that moment. Everything was new. I was a junior so it was completely different.
But now I think I’m showing that I belong here after all. I think I work very hard. It’s been already, I don’t know, five, six years after that. It’s been a roller coaster, so I’ve passed a lot of moments.
Now finally I’m showing that after all, after working very hard, I’m in a final. This one, it’s a real one, as you can see. It’s not a junior one. It’s completely different.
Q. Listening to you in the on-court interview, you talked about your depression, talked about it openly in the past. Why do you think it’s important to keep sharing that? Is it important to keep the message out there?
PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, I think it’s very important. I’m not for sure — well, as you can see other players, they’re passing through this right now so I’m not the only one. I think it’s important to talk about that because it’s something very normal. It’s something very tough because it’s a very tough sport. You pass through a lot of things.
When I achieve something like this, the first thing that passes through my head, it’s that, that tough moments. When I was there, I never believed that I could be in a final or I can be fighting against champions and legends like Vika or Angie or all these other players.
For me it’s an amazing feeling to be here. Of course, I have memory, and I remember that tough moments.
Q. You’ve been able to break serve at a very high rate. What do you think you’re doing well in your return games to get that success?
PAULA BADOSA: When I’m returning, I try to stay quite aggressive. That’s what I try. I try to play every point. I don’t really care how I’m returning or how I’m serving. Of course, when you serve you have the control at the beginning. Sometimes that’s a little bit complicated as well. What can I say (smiling)?
Still I try to play every point no matter what. That gives you a lot of points and gives you a lot of matches. I think that’s very important to stay there, focus, no matter what.
Q. What does it mean to make your first hard court final? Does it feel any different or more satisfying to make a hard court final? Are you surprised it happened here at Indian Wells, a place that is kind to players who like playing on clay courts?
PAULA BADOSA: Yeah, I’m pretty happy I’m doing a hard court. After I played clay, I did a very good clay season, I wanted to improve on a lot of things on hard court. I worked a lot. Then I had the grass court season. Then I was playing again on hard court. I did pretty good. Not amazing, but I did good in Olympics, Cincinnati, all that. I still wanted to improve a few things.
I think I’m doing it very well this week. I’m pretty happy that I improved really fast. I’m quite proud of myself on that.
Q. A lot of players seem to be tired at this time of the season. You started your year in a tough situation in Australia. Why do you think you seem to be so fresh and strong physically and mentally?
PAULA BADOSA: I’m not. I’m tired, as well (laughter).
I have to be honest. Of course I’m tired. I can’t wait to have a few days’ rests, to go home, to be honest. But I love to compete. I love tennis. Every time I’m on court I’m enjoying, even though I’m suffering, but I know that’s part of the game. As I said, I love to compete. I forget everything, that I’m tired, all that things, because I love to be here.
Q. Can you talk about playing Vika, what you think of her game and her?
PAULA BADOSA: I’ve seen her a lot, a lot of finals, winning Grand Slams, 1000 tournaments. I know how she’s playing. She’s very intense. She’s a tough one. She’s a competitor. She fights until the last ball. I know it’s going to be a tough one.
But I like these kind of matches. I’ve never been through a final, so I can’t wait to play it. I always dreamed to be in one. I can’t wait to play it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports