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Video: Sachia Vickery – Friday, March 9, 2018

by BNP Paribas Open

S. VICKERY/G. Muguruza
2-6, 7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you put into words what it was like when that last point ended?

SACHIA VICKERY: Yeah, I was really, really surprised. I really couldn’t believe that I won, especially after being down a set and 3-0. It just all went so quickly, and I was just really shocked and surprised. That’s the best way to describe it.

Q. Seemed like there were moments in that third set and late in the second set, too, where even you seemed a little surprised by what was coming off your racquet. Is that accurate?

SACHIA VICKERY: Yeah. You know, I started out pretty nervous. Obviously, for me, I haven’t played matches on such a big court before. For her, it’s the norm.

So in the first set it really took me a while to kind of find the ball and kind of get over those nerves. But then after, in the second set, I let a few go, and, you know, I started to get a lot of confidence and the crowd got behind me. I don’t know. I just started really getting to play my game.

Q. Looked like you did an exceptional job on the return, especially you took the wide serve on the deuce side away from her. Is that something you knew going in you were going to do or you adjust during the match?

SACHIA VICKERY: No. Actually, I didn’t. We didn’t talk about moving positions for returns. Just as the match went on, I kind of got a read on her wide serve, and I know she was really going after it and she was hitting it well.

So I just figured on a few second serves just put a bit more pressure and make her go for the T, even if she comes up with something big. You know, she was really burning me on the wide serve, so I just tried to take that away.

Q. You’re 2-0 now on Stadium 1. How much did the match against Bouchard help prepare you for this moment?

SACHIA VICKERY: It did a lot. I feel like I kind of got over that kind of stage fright a little bit. Because when I walked out on the court against Genie, I couldn’t believe how big the court was. I have played on big courts, obviously, but nothing like this. I feel like that was really a hump to get over.

And then today, I relaxed a little bit more after I was down. You know, it just worked out.

Q. You kept saying that you didn’t believe you had won. You said it like five times. Do you believe it now or is it still going through that stage?

SACHIA VICKERY: Honestly, probably when I wake up sometime tomorrow my coach will call me and say You just beat Muguruza. And I’ll be like, No way.

I didn’t expect to win because I was down by so much. And to make that kind of turnaround on the world No. 3 player, you don’t do that often. I think that’s why I kept saying I was so surprised. I couldn’t believe I won.

Q. Now that you have really truly done it, it’s actually true, why here, why now, do you think? Why is this happening?

SACHIA VICKERY: You know, I have honestly just put a lot of work in for the past few months, and I have made a lot of changes to my game. Everything is just kind of coming together. I have had so many matches in the past where I was just almost there, but I can never really just make that breakthrough. And I was just so close, just always losing it and losing it.

Today I was just, like, go for it. Even if you lose, just lose hitting. That worked out really well for me.

Q. We have seen you in the past, like, you have some of those big matches where you had leads and maybe got tight. So you built that lead in the third set. A few of us were, is it going to be the same thing? So was it just mental?

SACHIA VICKERY: Yeah, it was mental. I think actually me losing those matches where I have been up, I don’t know, maybe 4-1 in the third set or 4-1 and 30-Love, that’s actually helped me.

Because now, even the past two matches, I have been up and I have kind of been reminding myself, you know, when I was up in those previous matches, even weeks ago, I was up 4-1 in the third set and didn’t win another game. And I just keep telling myself, just hit the ball, go for it. Don’t play tentative.

Because if I would have let up, she would have — you know, I would have brought her back into the match. I think that was the most important.

Q. You have already played a lot of tennis. You have come through the hard way. How is your physicality right now? How are you feeling?

SACHIA VICKERY: Yeah, it’s always difficult coming through quallies. I had two really tough matches, and even obviously my first round was tough.

But I have been working really well with recovery. My fitness trainer is here, and it’s probably going to help me a lot that I have the day off tomorrow.

Yeah, it’s just going to be about, you know, hydrating and recovering. I’m sure by tomorrow I’ll feel a lot better than I do now.

Q. Do you think you’re able to raise your level of play as the stage gets bigger?

SACHIA VICKERY: I think so. I mean, you obviously never know in tennis. It’s just one day and one match at a time.

For right now, I’m just going to try to take away the positives from the first match and the second match and just keep doing what I have been doing well, which is, you know, working on being more aggressive.

You know, my game for years has kind of been built around defense and, you know, not really taking on my shots. And I think that was the thing I was happiest with yesterday — first round and today.

Q. Do you feel that, you know, some players play defensively through their careers, that’s kind of what they are comfortable with, and when they make the adjustments they have to — it doesn’t come naturally? Being more aggressive, does it come more naturally to you than you thought?

SACHIA VICKERY: Yeah, I think a lot of players that defend well, they can be aggressive. But I guess just after years and years of doing the same thing it’s easy to get stuck in that kind of mentality, which was what happened to me.

You know, it’s really taken a lot of work with my coach, you know, going after first serves and starting the point on the front foot so I’m not just running every single point. Obviously, as I play these better opponents, you know, you can’t just run for two hours. You know, it’s just not going to work out that way.

I think it’s something you just really have to work on, which I have been doing.

Q. Was Sloane’s run in your mind at all that she was able to make that shift change for herself last year to go to a more attacking mode off of defense?

SACHIA VICKERY: Yeah, that was great. Sloane has always been such a great player, and everybody pretty much knew how much potential that she had. I think even watching her at US Open, I think that’s something she added to her game a lot, and she was really going after her shots. But, you know, she’s so strong and so powerful, so it wasn’t shocking that she added that to her game.

Q. A lot went on today. You had a foot-fault call. At 4-1 when she called the coach and your coach came out, what was going through your head? It was so close, but still not over yet obviously.

SACHIA VICKERY: Yeah, you know, he was just reminding me to, you know, keep mixing up my movements on the returns and just keep breathing. Like, he literally said breathe, I think, 10,000 times today.

Because, you know, as I was sitting down on the changeover, I kind of had a minute to just really, you know, calm myself down and just not rush right into the points and take a little bit more time.

Yeah, I’m actually really glad that I was able to overcome that, because I was a bit nervous in that final set.

Q. Talk a little bit about the crowd support and what that feeling was for you.

SACHIA VICKERY: I mean, it was unbelievable. After, you know, even when I was down maybe a set and 3-0, they were still behind me and cheering after every single point. Then when I won the second set, I have never heard a louder kind of applause, and it really got my going.

Honestly, I think they pulled me through it, because, you know, I was struggling a little bit physically toward the end. They really kept my spirits up.

Q. Eye on the ball obviously. Did you see your mom and the flag? Are you aware of what’s going on there?

SACHIA VICKERY: Oh, yeah, yeah. I saw my mom. She’s from Guyana and she loves always representing her country. I’m American and Guyanese also.

She’s always been supporting me since I started playing tennis and has been right there by my side. I was happy that I could win on such a big stage and most of my family is here. That was just unbelievable for me.

Q. On Tennis Channel they told the story you used to hit the ball against the wall of your house?

SACHIA VICKERY: Yeah. Yeah, when I was younger, it was really weird. I think I went to maybe a Dollar Store one day with my grandma and got like a paddle racquet, and I was hitting against the wall every single day. I think one day I broke the window and my mom was, like, okay, enough is enough. I will try to find somewhere for you to get to play.

I went to a local park. I think the first lady I worked with, her name is Jerry Braxton, and she gave me my first lesson and I really liked it. She said even from the first day I hit that I was making contact with the ball, and she saw something there. So I just kept going (smiling).

Q. At the end of the match, you did this symbol. Just double-checking.


Q. Was that Wakanda Forever?

SACHIA VICKERY: That was definitely Wakanda Forever. I’m so obsessed with the movie. It’s taking over my life. I have seen it four times already. Literally, I’m obsessed.

Actually, the girl who is Shuri, she’s from Guyana, and that’s where my mom is from. I was just like so crazy to see that and the movie is just so awesome. I’m just obsessed with it right now.

Q. Have you watched it here?

SACHIA VICKERY: I have watched it twice here. I may just keep watching it because it’s been working out well for me. So we’ll see.

Q. You were able to hit a lot of winners down the line. Is that something you have been working on?

SACHIA VICKERY: Yeah, I think, especially on my backhand side I’m more comfortable going down the line. And I think starting out in the first set and a half, I was a little bit too predictable just going crosscourt. I wasn’t really opening up the court as well as I like to. It just took a few shots for me to get my confidence on changing line, and I saw she wasn’t reading it as quickly. So I definitely tried to do that.

Q. You were creeping in on the second serve quite a bit, sometimes even advanced movement. Have you been working on that?

SACHIA VICKERY: Yeah, it’s something I kind of developed over the years. Obviously I’m pretty short, so it’s difficult for me when the ball gets up too high. So I just opt to take it a little bit earlier just so I’m not behind in the point. It actually helps my timing a little better.

That’s something I have developed confidence over the years. I never used to do that. I used to sit back and wait for it.

Q. Thoughts on your next opponent Naomi?

SACHIA VICKERY: Yeah, I didn’t even look at first to be honest. I mean, who knew I would have beaten Muguruza. So I didn’t even look past that point, to be honest.

But yeah, another great player. I’m just going to go in with the same mentality as I did today. I literally have nothing to lose. Everybody expected me to lose today. I just came out and surprised myself, and I surprised everyone.

You know, she’s top 50 in the world, once again, so I feel like I have nothing to lose, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2018-03-10 06:27:00 GMT

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