Anastasia Gasanova showcased a remarkable display of tenacity and mental fortitude in Chennai on Tuesday to take down top seed Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-2, 6-3. The 23-year-old, who contemplated a brief hiatus from tennis after an agonizingly early exit at the US Open, kickstarted her campaign in the Indian city with an all-round performance.
In her post-match press conference, Gasanova articulated her thoughts on the win, her mindset heading into the tournament, and her upcoming challenge in Katie Swan. Indian Tennis Daily Member Gauri Awasthi was part of the Q&A session.
Q: Can you talk about your thoughts on the match?
Gasanova: Today was a good match for me. I just put everything I had and I tried my best. Thankfully it was a good fight and a good match to watch.
Q: Anastasia you’re coming off an early exit from the US Open but have managed to cause a big upset over the top seed just weeks later. What do you think changed for you?
Gasanova: Well to be honest after the US Open I wanted to take a break from tennis. Last year I couldn’t go because I didn’t have a visa. So this year I was waiting for the US Open and I lost, it was a terrible loss. I was so sad and wanted to take a break. But after that, I saw a tournament in India and I said, ‘Well, let’s try. Let’s go there and try my best’.
Q: Have you been able to use your time off the court to visit Chennai?
Gasanova: I didn’t have much time yet because I was still jet lagged after America. So I sleep a lot. Hopefully, I will be able to visit, I’ve heard there are places of culture that I really want to see.
Q: Can you give your assessment of the on-court conditions? How is the court speed?
Gasanova: The court is slow, and the balls are a little bit heavy because of the humidity and the conditions. I’m very happy that we’re playing in the evening because during the day it’s really hard. I really like night matches so I enjoyed it.
Q: What do you feel were the key moments in the match for you?
Gasanova: I think it was the beginning of the second set because I was serving a bit nervously. I told myself that I really need to focus ad just try my best.
Q: In terms of on-court fashion, is there anyone you look up to with regard to style?
Gasanova: In this case, I really look up to Serena, she’s so stylish, off and on the court. I really like her attitude as well.
Q: What is your mindset like when you’re approaching a big match such as this?
Gasanova: I have the experience to beat top players, I just reminded myself that I can actually do this again. Before, the match I was thinking that if I don’t do my best today, she’s going to win. So I needed to play perfectly.
Q: Your thoughts on your next match against Katie Swan?
Gasanova: I know Katie since we were juniors but didn’t have a chance to play her yet. So I’m very excited, I know she’s got a big serve.