– Ekaterina, sunshine, dry desert area and some of the biggest stadiums in the world of tennis. There aren’t many better places to play than here in California, are there?
– Yes, this is such a great place. I’m really enjoying to be here and practicing and all the stuff: the tournament, the fans, they are so nice and so good. I’m getting a lot of positive emotions.
– Everyone seems to love playing here. I think it’s your eighth time in Indian Wells. You haven’t made it past the second round yet. Why has this tournament never been kind to you do you think?
– Yeah, I don’t know but maybe the conditions that it’s so dry, the way the balls fly. It’s not really comfortable for me. A play in Miami a little bit better. But still every year I come here and it doesn’t matter how I play here, it’s a great place and I’m really enjoying to be here.
– The next thing I want to ask, what it feels like out there. It’s very unique playing style here because of the desert area, isn’t it?
– Say it again
– I say, it’s very unique there, could you try to describe what it feels like there on court with this dry desert area.
– I think this is the one tournament where the conditions are like this, so dry, it feels like it’s a little bit in mountains, the atmosphere is different. You need to control a lot of things, the ball, the feeling of it is a little bit different, for me it’s maybe tougher. So I prefer places where it is more humid.
– That’s the conditions. Let me talk a little about the draw. It’s a very tough draw. Only Petra Kvitova, the only Top 10, is missing. It doesn’t look to be quite easy doesn’t it, this week?
– This is one of the hardest tournaments. The draw is always tough here. Every player here is a great player, everyone plays great tennis. You need to be focused from the first match.
– And looking at your form, the last year was a real breakthrough season and now you broke into the Top 10. What are you specifically working on to produce this form?
– In my game, we are working pretty the same way, working really hard with my team, the same coach. But I think I’m a little bit different mentally. I really believe more in myself, believe that I can be one of the top players.
– How tough is it to compete at such a high level and maintain that through the whole year, because that’s sort of a key to keep that ranking.
– Yes, for sure, this is very tough. You need to be focused, you need to be still in your game all the year. Pretty tough year, so many tournaments and I will try my best.