Danielle Dominates  - 

Monday, April 1, 2024

Round of 64 – Shelby Rogers (USA) def. Claire Liu (USA) 6-1 6-1

SHELBY ROGERS: Very happy with that one. The short match was needed tonight. I’ll take that any day. But obviously so happy to be home and competing, and the crowd was awesome, as usual. Lots of good vibes out there. That’s my recap.

I mean, I get nervous before every match I play, but tonight I actually felt really excited. I felt pretty free out there. I wasn’t trying to put too many expectations on myself. I just wanted to really soak up the moment and try to enjoy competing as best as I could, fight for every point, try to play the way that I like to play and how I play my best tennis. So I think I did a lot of those things tonight.

Yeah, absolutely. I think something I’ve really tried to focus on this comeback, the last few matches I played is smiling a little bit more on court. There’s some interesting points that happened out there. Claire is an incredible competitor, and we had some funny shots, or you hit a line or something and some change in momentum and just enjoying that part. That’s what I mean by enjoying the competition. Some things go your way. Some things don’t, but that’s the beauty of the sport. And the more that I can evaluate myself in that way rather than winning or losing, it’s just more enjoyable.

Yeah. I felt great, honestly. The knee felt good. So we’re happy about that. The body felt pretty good, and sometimes that quick transition onto clay from the hardcourts is not easy. You can feel like a giraffe on ice. But I felt pretty comfortable out there, and yeah, again, was trying to play aggressive tennis, move forward and try to keep the points short, if I could. We love that, too. But, yeah, really happy with a lot of things tonight.

That’s a good analysis. I think a little bit, yeah. It’s also where I just want to hit forehands, too. I like my forehand. So you try to set that up as well, and I was just trying to hit my targets as best I could, get short balls when I had them. Again, she’s an incredible mover. So trying not to get in too many points where she is able to counterpunch and then get back in and take advantage again. So, yeah, maybe a little bit, but I think first and foremost, I was focusing on what I could do well tonight, and then kind of secondary is the strategy.

Yeah, I think on the clay it’s a really great play. The girls are so talented now from the back. Everybody is so, so good. So anytime you can add a little variety it’s fun for us, for the fans, you know. And helps kind of mix up the points a little bit.

I think it’s huge. I think without this tournament here, I would not have been exposed to professional women’s tennis. I was able to have the chance to be a ball girl. I was able to be up close and personal with professional tennis players, have conversations with them, see how they train, see how they practice. It made it more tangible for me. It wasn’t something I just watched on TV and it seemed so far away from me. I think when it feels accessible, it’s really helpful. It doesn’t feel like it’s a dream that could never come true. It feels like, okay, it’s right here in my backyard. I can see it with my eyes. If I work hard, maybe I can get there, you know. And for me that’s a big reason why I play is to inspire the other people here, say, okay, I came from here, we can do this, you can do this. It’s just we’re all just humans out here, right? It’s not something that’s intangible, like I said. So I think it’s really huge to have that accessibility, and the
more kids we can get exposed to that and give them opportunities to play on these courts and interact with the players and get that fan engagement, I think it’s awesome.

Honestly, I’ve always said, it’s such a joy for me to be from Charleston. I take so much pride in being from here, and the community that backs me and us and just Charleston tennis in general is so awesome. You feel it when you’re here on this court. When you’re on the road, you feel it. You get comments. You get messages. So that never goes away. And that part is really, really awesome.

And it’s so great to see, again, Emma coming through. I’ve always said I never wanted to be the best player from here because then we’re doing something wrong. Right? We want to keep getting better and better and pushing and seeing more players come out of here. So it just — it makes my heart really happy.

2024 Charleston Open Shelby Rogers
Players in this article