Q & A with Anastasija Sevastova: “I expected a tough match”
The defending champion, Anastasija Sevastova had a tough mission ahead of her as she took on home-crowd favorite Ana Bogdan. The two had previously met in the quarterfinals of the Bucharest Open in 2017 when the Romanian emerged as a winner in straight sets. Thus, Sevastova knew she will have to expect a very difficult match. And so it was as the Latvian battled for three hours to defeat Ana Bogdan 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-5.
This is what she had to say after the match:
Congratulations on your win. It was a very long match. Did you expect it to be that long?
Thank you. Well, last time I lost here against her and it was a short match, so I expected a tough one for sure. She’s always playing well here, she’s one of the best players on clay in the tournament, so it was a tough first round.
After your grass season, did it take longer to adjust back on clay? Did that play a part in your tough match today?
I think I played OK today, but I only won one round in Wimbledon, so I think I had enough time. As always, the first match back on clay it’s a bit different because you need time and to fight through it.
You always play good in Bucharest; how do you see your chances this year?
Last year I was lucky that I didn’t lose first round and somehow, I won the tournament, so I hope it’s going to be the same this year. It will not come easy to win the tournament, it’s always going to be tough.
Did the crowd make a difference today?
For sure the crowd helps. It’s always nice to play at home. So, that motivated her, but I have played Romanians here before so I know how it is.
What were you thinking of when you were down a break in the third set?
That my legs hurt (laughs). But I actually knew that I could break her. She also broke me when I was serving for the match. On clay, you have to fight through your service games and to be concentrated on your service games more than on grass where it’s a bit easier to win your serve.
What about your next opponent, Patricia Tig. What do you know about her?
I know that she was very good before, but she then disappeared.
(She was pregnant)
Oh, OK. Well, it’s going to be tough because she is a good player. I don’t think that after having a baby she doesn’t know how to play anymore. She has no pressure and I saw the results she had here and she beat some good players.