August 7, 2018
J. KONTA/J. Ostapenko
6-7, 6-1, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You got out to pretty big leads in all three sets. What happened in the second and third to help you close?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think both of us faced the challenge going out today of not being able to hit before our match because of the way our weather was. It wasn't our friend. There was always going to be that portion of the match where we were going to both try to find our footing, try to find rhythm.
She's the kind of player that doesn't give you much rhythm anyway. Even though I went up 3-0 in the third set, it wasn't so much to do with my racquet. I think she missed a lot of balls in the beginning. It was still quite cold in that part of the match still.
I think obviously because of that back and forth in that first set, after that I think what I did well was I settled down quite well. I played myself into the match and tried to be as tough as possible.
She has such a big game, so many big shots, sometimes you are spectator out there. When I had the opportunity to do the most I could, stay strong, I think I built up enough momentum. That's why I was able to, yeah, keep pushing through in the second and third.
Q. Compared to yesterday, you were playing doubles, today was cooler, how different is your preparation?
JOHANNA KONTA: Actually today I think it was more humid. It was just the temperature was lower. It didn't feel as warm.
I looked on the weather app before I went, 90% humidity. It was super humid out there. Yeah, I mean, it was slightly different today. I played singles today. Yesterday I played doubles. Yesterday I was able to warm up for the match. Today I didn't. It was just very different conditions, yeah.
Q. You had a tough opponent for this first round. You also had a big win against Serena last week. Do you feel like the big wins against tough opponents can help you get some momentum for the end of the year?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think every match you can fight through and you can come through is going to give you good momentum and good match fitness. I think I played three great matches last week. Obviously I had a good win against Serena, but I also had a really good win against Kenin in the second round, a tough match against Madison. I think three matches there, having two good wins, obviously is going to help me in every way to get that match fitness.
Coming through a match like this today where it wasn't the prettiest of matches, to really kind of knuckle down and just compete well, I think that gives me personally the most amount of, yeah, just feeling tough out there.
Q. Is there any extra pride to be able to do what you accomplished against Serena last week? Have you gotten over that since then?
JOHANNA KONTA: No, I've moved on from it. I think I enjoyed it for the achievement of getting through my first round and being able to actually play against someone like her. Maybe there's not many like her, but her. Kind of almost park her achievements at the gate and play the opponent on the day, which is very hard against her because, I mean, she's just so incredible in the sport, what she's done.
I think I was more proud of that achievement, to be able to play the player on the day, more than anything, and compete well. But, yeah, that was now quite a few matches ago.
Q. You played a couple three-setters now against Ostapenko. How important do you consider the return in that match?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think both serve and return against Jelena, she has such a big ball, I mean, you don't always know what's going to be coming next because she really goes for her shots.
Like I said, sometimes you are a spectator in the point. I think equally first serve and return, I mean, it's the first few balls that can sometimes dictate the points. When it's going against me, I try to be as tough as possible. When it's going for me, I look to just really try to take advantage of that as much as I can.
Q. Like Eugenie Bouchard, you reached the top five. Is it more tough to reach the top five again when you see the actual level of competition?
JOHANNA KONTA: I'll let you know when I reach it again (smiling).
I think there's a lot to be said where the women's game is now. I think it's in a really, really strong position. I think the depth of our tour is getting more and more. That's why we continuously see, as you guys call it, upsets. We call it just another tough match in the very first rounds of every tournament, slams, these tournaments, San Jose. There's no easy rounds any more. I think that makes it that much tougher for players to stay consistently in the top five and top 10. The ones that are there over the last few years, I think an even bigger hat off to them.
Q. A question about Serena. You played her last week, had a great win. She was clearly struggling. She shared since on social media about the personal reasons, things she's been struggling with, feeling like a bad mom, that whole idea of trying to make the comeback, but feeling like your neglecting your child. What is your response to that post?
JOHANNA KONTA: I didn't see it. But I'm not a mother, so I cannot comment on those feelings. I hope that joy and that difficulty awaits me at some point in my life. I think she's an incredibly tough individual. I'm sure she's very demanding of herself as she has been in the sport. I'm sure she's just as demanding of herself in her private life as well to do right by the people around her.
I think she's doing the best that she can. I'm sure that's what she shared.
Q. The game is changing, women's careers are going longer. Motherhood is something you can accommodate and continue to play the tour. Do you like where the WTA is going, the changes that are coming, or more needs to be done?
JOHANNA KONTA: I think motherhood is a choice, so I think as long as that choice is open for the players who wish to go down that road and have a child, then come back to play, as long as that avenue is open, they are supported. I think that's the route we are on now. That's the thing what's being done. I think that's the most important thing.
Me personally, I'd like to have children after I finish my career. It's a very personal choice how people would like to do their careers.
Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, you won three games against one versus Halep, is that right?
JOHANNA KONTA: That's the most random question.
Q. What is the success, the key of playing against the No. 1? Your head-to-head is 3-1 versus Halep.
JOHANNA KONTA: I haven't played her since she's been No. 1 in the world. That's one thing. I think there's a lot to do with, I think, game matchups. Now, every match that I've won against her has been very little in it for me to lose that match. I think when players are so good, you really win matches by the skin of your teeth and you lose matches by the skin of your teeth.
Yeah, I don't really know what to say about that. About her as a player and a competitor, I think she's shown that over the last number of years. I'm really happy for her that she was able to win the French Open this year. I think that was a big monkey off her back and really well-deserved. I think she's not leaving any stone unturned in terms of how she plays.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports