“I thank everyone, they were supporting me the whole time” – Podoroska on the Chennai crowd

As the tennis world reels from last night’s announcement of Roger Federer’s retirement, Chennai Open WTA 250 matches continue on schedule. ITD member Srividya was part of the press conference of today’s Quarterfinalist winner Nadia Podoroska.

Nadia Podoroska sat down today after her 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Eugenie Bouchard. She asked “No one retired today right?” and we all laughed in the press room as we had to break the news of Federer’s retirement to her last night in the round of 16 because she was stuck in a gruelling 3 set match with the No. 4 seed Tatjana Maria in the WTA 250 Chennai Open which the former eventually won. 

Here are a few excerpts from her post match press conference after her win in the Quarterfinals, being the first person to make it to the Semifinals of the Singles draw in the tourney. 

Q) Can you talk about the match and how it feels to be through to your first WTA 250 Semifinals?

“Yeah, well, I’m very happy because of that. So, this is my first semi-final, I have too many quarters from last year. So of course it’s important for me. I am happy with the way I played the match. At the beginning I was very nervous, very tight, very difficult and tired for the rest of the match, and then step-by-step I started to feel better and finally I could win.”

Q) In the second set could you feel that Eugenie was getting a bit tired? You were dominant in the third set, what do you think changed?

“I think in the second set, I found the way to play the match. I tried to step in on the court, tried to move her, maybe a bit of spin. That’s not her playing comfortably. In the first set she played really well. In the third, I knew she was a little bit tired, a little bit angry maybe because she lost the second. And I didn’t make any mistakes. It was a key moment in the beginning of the third set. 

Q) How does it feel to play two back-to-back matches in these hot and humid weather conditions? 

“Actually, I’ve been out of tour for 10 months, so I had to practice and train and I am healthy. So, I like to run and to play long matches. So, for me it’s fine. My body feels great!”

Q) In your last match you spoke about how it is difficult to get back your rhythm after a long break. What aspect of your game, forehand or backhand, do you think is the most difficult to get back to?

“It is not about a shot; a forehand or a backhand. It is about how to play an important point, when you have the chance to break a serve or to turn a game, close a set or a match. That’s the most difficult for me.”

Q) How do you feel about the Chennai crowd supporting you and cheering you on? How was the crowd today?

“I want to thank everyone because today, like yesterday, they were supporting me the whole time. I am alone here, so it is very important to me.”

Q) There aren’t as many women’s players in tennis from Argentina who play in the Slams as the men’s, why do you think that is?

“Well, it’s true. I think it is a problem in South America, as we don’t have enough tournaments for the women. For boys, they have a lot of tournaments. For me, that is the main difference. We have a lot of talent in Argentina. It is also very difficult to travel to Europe or to the US economically. Girls do not have many opportunities. I was very lucky because when I was a child, I had someone to support me. But if you don’t have that chance, it is very hard to get to the high level.”

Q) Besides the humid conditions in Chennai, you’ve been to a lot of events across the globe. How do you compare this tournament to others around the world in terms of facilities?

“ Well, actually this tournament is really nice. You have everything you would want. For practice, for courts, there are too many people working for this tournament, that is amazing! I don’t know how many people are working for the tournament, but we have everything we want. The hotel is very nice. So it is very nice to be here to play.”

Q) We are having a WTA tournament in India after 14 years. So what are your thoughts on how important it is for women’s tennis to come to places that players typically don’t come to?

“Yeah, it’s very important. I mean, in general women do not have many tournaments like boys. The prize money is very different, there is a huge difference. So in that way it is very important for us to have new tournaments, to have sponsors to support the tournament and it’s important for us to do our best.”

Photos from the match by Chenthil Mohan

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