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An Interview With: Kaia Kanepi

Monday, September 1, 2014

Q. She got off to a strong serving start at the beginning of the match. Was that about you or her serve was difficult for you to deal with at the beginning?

KAIA KANEPI: Yeah, I think her serve was really good. I think the whole match she served pretty good. In the beginning of the match I had this center court nervousness a bit.

Q. Nervousness about being out on that court or playing Serena?

KAIA KANEPI: Being on the court. I haven't played on a big stage for a long time now. It is a bit different. Huge arena. I can't practice that, I just have to play on it.

Q. Have you ever been in there before?

KAIA KANEPI: Yes, a few years ago.

Q. What specifically about the ball toss?

KAIA KANEPI: Well, on a small court the fences are very close, but this is like very open. That's the difference.

Q. What did you think about your form in general today?

KAIA KANEPI: I think I played pretty good. My serve wasn't working that well today as in previous matches. But I think also because she returns very fast, then I feel like I have to serve good.

Q. She comes back with a return off of a very good serve very hard. What does that do to you? How does that force you to adjust?

KAIA KANEPI: Yeah, it's different. It's different than with other players.

Q. It's been a couple years since you've played her. Do you feel like she's playing better than when you last played her?

KAIA KANEPI: I think she's serving much better right now. Better placement and maybe even more power. But I think I'm feeling better, too, like than a few years ago, being on the court to play against her.

Q. With the power of the serve on the women's tour, is there anyone who really compares with the power of her serve?

KAIA KANEPI: I played Stosur second round. I think she was hitting very hard, too. But the second serve she hits a bit different, with a spin. That's the other way it's tougher.

Q. In the past you've had success at this round of Grand Slam tournaments, making it to the quarterfinals. Was this a different challenge, playing Serena, than you faced before?

KAIA KANEPI: Yeah, I never played No. 1 in fourth round.

Q. Krunic said she went into the Kvitova match thinking she wouldn't win. When you went into this match I'm assuming you thought you could win.

KAIA KANEPI: Yeah, I thought I have a chance if the situations come, and I didn't go into the match like, Well, she's definitely going to win. No, I thought I was going to have a chance.

Q. As you go into the match, what was your strategy? You know you're up against the No. 1. What is your strategy?

KAIA KANEPI: I went in to be aggressive. I can't be passive or she's going to hit winners all over the place. I have strong shots, too, I think. I have to play aggressive, try to serve well and hit the first serves in more. But it was a bit difficult today.

Q. Will you still follow the tournament now or is it hard once you're out?

KAIA KANEPI: Of course I'll watch. Yeah, I'm going to go home and watch it from TV (smiling).

Q. With her serve, in the course of a match, are you able to get a better read, adjust to dealing with her serve?

KAIA KANEPI: I tried to do that, but actually it was quite tough to read her serve. But in the second, she made few double-faults and didn't make the first serve in, so I was able to break twice. But when she serves first serves in, yeah, it's tough to return.

Q. What are the positives you take out of this? You made the fourth round of the US Open, lost to the No. 1 seed.

KAIA KANEPI: Yeah, I had really good matches. I think I gained confidence for next tournaments. I played aggressive. I didn't get like pissed on the court. I was very calm all matches. I like that way to be on the court.