INTERVIEW: [4] Ons Jabeur DEF. Anhelina Kalinina 6-3 6-2 – QFS

INTERVIEW: [4] Ons Jabeur DEF. Anhelina Kalinina 6-3 6-2 – QFS

QUARTERFINALS: O. Jabeur def. A. Kalinina – 6-3 6-2

Question: Good performance from you today. Can you talk us through the match today?

JABEUR: Yeah. A great match. I mean, I really enjoyed being there today. I was trying to be aggressive and take the few shots before her and playing the game that I like to play, slicing and mixing up the shots. Pretty happy with my performance, and hope I can keep playing like that.

Question: Ons, by my count this is your 13th match here in the last year. Are you starting to feel at home?

JABEUR: Feels like home, yeah. Even from before. Like I said, people here are very nice, and you can feel the nice energy. I mean, I can speak for most of the players. We enjoy playing here. We feel like very spoiled, and I hope like the tournament also is enjoying to having us. I love to be back here. I love like — it’s a big and small tournament at the same time, you know. You feel really like home here, and hope I can play here until Sunday and enjoy my matches here.

Question: Anhelina had a nice run here. What do you like about her game?

JABEUR: She’s kind of aggressive, but also a fighter on the court. I was expecting her to make me play every time one more ball, and she has a great forehand that’s different from other players. And you can not cheat her on the backhand because she can really make you work hard for every shot. I think she also served good, but I returned well today. She had a good run also in Miami, so I think she’s a great player, but just I hope she can — she deserves a much better ranking for sure.

Question: I mean, feeling at home is one thing, but you haven’t dropped a set this week, and actually, all three of your matches —

JABEUR: Is this wood? (Laughs).

Question: All three of your matches have been 3 and 2. You’ve won not easily, but those are pretty straightforward score lines. What are you feeling best about your tennis on court right now?

JABEUR: I’m just honestly enjoying the clay in general. And sometimes at the beginning it’s kind of tough to adjust coming from hard in a few days and then just play on clay. But like I said, I’m just enjoying the fact that I feel like so free on the court, the fact that I can slide anywhere, the fact that I can cover the whole court. I enjoy that a lot. And as long as I’m able to kind of slice and make the opponent work harder to win a point against me that I enjoy so much. And I just, to be honest, I’m loving also the crowd. It gives me a lot of energy, and I’m always motivated to go play, because I know just love to hear them like shouting my name or supporting me.

Question: You mentioned slice and dropshot. How did your game develop in that direction do you think?

JABEUR: I think it’s part of my game. If I have the slices and dropshots, I think I can feel good about my other shots, you know. So like some other players, you know, if you take away some shots from them, even though they have other good shots, but still, the main thing for me is I like variety. I like to mix it up a little bit. And this like gives me more time to recover from the court. It can make the shots kind of difficult for the players to make, you know, if you make a low slice. And, of course, the dropshot, you never know, because I can hit hard, and I can make the dropshot. So they don’t know if they’re waiting for a dropshot or like a good-hitting ball. But overall, you know, this is me and my character. I like to have fun on the court, and this is what I like the most about playing.

Question: You talk about recovery on the court. Do you have a specific routine of recovery or do you just take it match by match? What’s the most important for you?

JABEUR: You mean after the matches, yeah? Yeah, I mean, we always go just like loosen up the legs a little bit. Especially on clay, you know, it’s tough; you become much more sore than playing on another surface. But I’ve been doing a lot of meditation, and I bought actually a machine of a red light therapy. I don’t know if you’ve heard about it. And it’s been helping me a lot, and I always try to enjoy to put part of — any part of my body under the light, and I just stay. And lately I was doing meditation and the red light at the same time, which is really helpful. And I’m enjoying it right now.

Question: Any yoga?

JABEUR: I’m bad on yoga. I’m trying. Trust me, I’m trying to get there. But as you know, I’m not a very patient person. So, yeah, my mental coach was — she’s telling me, like, come on, you should do yoga. I was like, I am trying. I need to really get motivated with yoga, yeah. I need the right person. I don’t know if you know someone, or you can teach me how to do it.

Question: Do hot yoga and then you’ll sweat it out.

JABEUR: Okay. Sounds sexy. (Laughs). It does! It does! I’m just saying, it does!

Question: I actually don’t know the red light. What does the red light actually do?

JABEUR: So it’s red light therapy. It’s like, I don’t know how you call it.

Question: Infrared.

JABEUR: Yeah. It’s like let’s say hot on the body, and it just — it helps the skin. It helps the acne. It helps the inflammation. It helps a lot of things. So I’m trying to also keep young. So, I mean, everything. But I enjoy a lot — I start using it for my elbow, and it did help a lot. And since then I’m in love with this machine. It’s my baby, traveling with my baby all the time now.

Question: I want to ask you, if I could, about Sania Mirza. She’s not quite sure if this is going to be her last year on the tour. But she’s been such a pioneer. I don’t know what sort of relationship you have with her or the way that she has opened the door, not only on tour, but for a lot of young girls to dream big.

JABEUR: Oh, me and Sania, we have a lot of things in common together. She’s an inspiration, you know. It’s like the same story, but someone from India and someone from Tunisia. Like we are both Muslim, so I think we are the only Muslim on tour, which is, I mean, it’s something we can talk about that I’m not able to talk about with some people. And it’s amazing that we share all the times we share kind of the different culture that exists in India and Tunisia. And she’s a very nice person and inspiring, and I hope we can see more girls like her on tour, and I hope she can inspire more Indian girls, you know. I know they have a lot of doubles players there. It’s unbelievable. And to be honest, I’m a big fan of Sania, and she’s a nice person also outside the court.

ANHELINA KALININA Ons Jabeur