Swiatek, Sakkari eye WTA Finals qualification, Fernandez seeks Sharapova’s advice

INDIAN WELLS, California – The race to qualify for the Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara is heading up and the BNP Paribas Open, the final WTA 1000 occasion of the season, will play a giant half within the closing common season standings on the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals Leaderboard. The Prime 8 seeds, in addition to defending champion Bianca Andreescu, US Open stars Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez, and American phenom Coco Gauff all spoke to reporters forward of their opening matches.

READ: The whole lot you must know concerning the return of Indian Wells

WTA Insider rounds up one of the best insights from Media Day:

Iga Swiatek, who sits at No.7 on the Porsche Race Leaderboard, on her motivation to qualify for her first WTA Finals:

“I am fairly completely happy, to start with, that I nonetheless have power and motivation as a result of that is my first [full] yr on tour and I did not actually understand how I am going to deal with taking part in tournaments the entire yr with out principally any break. Due to the Olympics, we did not have any break. I simply took 4 days off in the course of the season, so hopefully it will be sufficient for my motivation to final until the top of the season. 

“However taking part in the WTA Finals, actually, it is one thing particular. You already know, I by no means really thought of that earlier than as a result of normally I used to be simply specializing in taking part in good at Grand Slams. However proper now, once we’re really heading to the top of the Race and we’re getting nearer to this event, I am simply getting excited. So on one aspect, I would like to qualify, and it is actually thrilling for me. However on the opposite aspect, I do know that a very powerful factor is to simply keep centered and hold doing the identical factor I did throughout the entire season as a result of typically whenever you simply do not take into consideration what might come, it is simpler to play and work. 

“Nonetheless, I do know that even when this event will not be going to go nicely I nonetheless have some probabilities to get extra factors. I am simply actually completely happy that I nonetheless have energy. I haven’t got any harm. As a result of it is the top of the season, many gamers are dealing with that.”

“I am extra motivated than I used to be the primary week of the yr.”

– Maria Sakkari

Maria Sakkari, who sits at No.5 within the Race, is dialed in:

“It could sound loopy and silly if I stated that I am not motivated as a result of I am making an attempt to realize one of many largest objectives of my profession for the primary time, which is the Finals. I am extra motivated than I used to be the primary week of the yr. 

“It is the top of the season. I do know that different gamers are drained. I do know that different gamers haven’t got that purpose. I do know that with a few good outcomes, I am most likely going to make it. It would not put me any stress, it would not make me really feel any strain, however I do know that I can and I see myself over there. 

“So my motivation is fairly excessive and I am feeling recent. I am making intelligent selections with observe and relaxation and every part to ensure that me to final till center of November. It feels nice that we’ve got that chance to be right here and accumulate some factors for the Finals.” 

Prime seed Karolina Pliskova on how she turned her season round to qualify for the WTA Finals:

“Usually I do not actually observe rankings and Race in any respect. [I follow] the Race a bit greater than rating as a result of at the very least you sort of know the place you might be and in case your yr is basically s**t. Then I may see to start with that it was actually s**t as a result of possibly I used to be like No.30 or 40. I by no means began a yr like this within the final 5 or 6 years. So I used to be like, OK, that is actually unhealthy, ? 

“However then nonetheless, I believed there are nonetheless so many massive tournaments. Then as soon as I obtained nearer and I used to be like No.15, I used to be like, OK, that is actually good. I am No.15, I am getting nearer. However in fact, nonetheless there are large factors that you must be within the high eight. Now [I’m] really again within the Prime 5 after a few years. 

“So tremendous proud about that, that we did not surrender. I believe it may simply go the improper approach, simply to go, OK, no matter, this yr is horrible, COVID and bubbles and every part, I used to be drained. However I am simply proud that we by some means stayed [with it] and even made it significantly better. I believe that was one of the best second a part of the yr that I had ever.” 

US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez on Maria Sharapova’s encouraging phrases on the Met Gala:

“I used to be fortunate sufficient to fulfill Maria Sharapova on the Met, and we sort of chatted a little bit bit and she or he gave me some fairly good recommendation. I do not need to disclose any of it as a result of it is very private to me, however I used to be very fortunate to have met her and she or he is a tremendous particular person. She advised me her personal expertise and the way in which that she was in a position to bounce again. She’s only a nice particular person, nice inspiration to look as much as and to simply get higher daily.”

READ: Raducanu, Gauff on their Indian Wells debuts and the risks of social media

Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova on qualifying for her first WTA Finals as a singles participant:

“Most of these items I’ve really skilled in doubles, so it will be approach totally different. I am not going to say a little bit totally different. It’ll be approach totally different. It is simply going to be large for me as a result of I’ll be taking part in WTA Finals in singles and in addition in doubles, which is basically thrilling. I’ll have a very, actually robust week. However it’s simply actually a privilege to be there. To qualify it says that I have been having a very good yr and I am actually pleased with it.”

Chicago champion Garbiñe Muguruza on taking part in the first-ever fall version of Indian Wells:

“I really feel it is very refreshing to have this event now. Different occasions we normally must have longer swings and journey to totally different locations and totally different jet lag. In my case, I simply stretched the US Open collection till right here and never having simply to return to Europe, return to Asia. I simply stayed right here and it would not really feel bizarre.”

“The recommendation I might give is to at all times stay grateful, even when you’re having the hugest successes, as a result of it will possibly all be taken away from you in a break up second.”

– Bianca Andreescu

Defending champion Bianca Andreescu’s recommendation to the profitable youngsters on tour:

“The recommendation I might give is to at all times stay grateful, even when you’re having the hugest successes, as a result of it will possibly all be taken away from you in a break up second. For me, it was being injured two months after and that was actually exhausting for me. I really feel like I did not savor it as a lot. That is one factor I realized now that I want I did again then. 

“Do not let it go an excessive amount of in your head. Keep assured, clearly, however , do not develop into caught up or, , I need to Grand Slam, so have a look at me. Simply keep humble. Stay grateful and proceed to work exhausting as a result of everybody says, at the very least in my expertise, it is simple to get to the highest. However keep staying on the high is what’s the hardest half.” 

Champion’s Reel: How Bianca Andreescu received Indian Wells 2019

2019 Indian Wells

Petra Kvitova on her robust activity at Indian Wells:

“I did not actually have one of the best outcomes right here thus far. I made quarterfinal, I believe, possibly a couple of times. 

“However for me, this event, it is such an attractive occasion, the place and every part, so quiet and every part. However the floor and the balls, it is nothing for me, sadly. It isn’t flying in any respect. It is very sluggish. It is bouncing so excessive. For me, it is actually tough to play right here, really. I do know it is not humid, which is sweet, but it surely may very well be very popular as I already had it in my practices. So it is very, very robust, particularly presently. The climate is simply completely totally different in comparison with March. 

“And for me, as a result of it is my final event of the season, taking part in right here it is even more durable. I do know it is going to be bodily, mentally, actually robust. I do know it is not likely suiting my sport, in order that’s possibly even worse and more durable.” 

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