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Kirsten Flipkens - quarter-final

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Kirsten Flipkens' press conference after her 4‑6, 6‑3, 6‑4 victory against Petra Kvitova.

Q.  It's a remarkable story for you from what's happened over the last 14 months.  Can you tell us a little bit about it and put into words exactly how you're feeling now.

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  I think I still don't really realize what I've managed to go through today and what I've achieved today.

I think last year, as everybody know already, I didn't get into the qualifying of Wimbledon.  I was ranked 262; today I'm a semifinalist in a Grand Slam.

It's a dream ‑ more than a dream ‑ coming true.  There's no words.

Q.  Do you feel you have a second chance in your career after what happened in Thailand?

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  Yeah, maybe I start to know what's important in life.  I think winning or losing a tennis match doesn't make a big difference.  I mean, if you lose, you have a next tournament next week, so...

Yeah, I just start to see things in perspective.  Yeah, as I said, to understand what's important and what's not.

Q.  Your career appeared to be flagging at the time.  What gave you the momentum?  Flemish Tennis Association pulled the money.  Why did you carry on?

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  The love for the sport.  I think I've been through a lot of ups and downs throughout my career.  I've had so many injuries.  Even after the juniors.  I was a world champion junior.  The year after I had a really bad back injury.  All doctors said my career would have been over normally.

But, yeah, I'm just the kind of person that doesn't like to break, and I keep on fighting back every time.  Yeah, I don't regret my decision last year still fighting back.

Q.  You paid tribute to a few of your friends afterwards.  Would you like to do it here?  Kim has been tweeting that she's hardly stopped drying her eyes.

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  Yeah, of course it means so much to me.  She's in America, but she's been there for me through the good and through the bad times.

Of course, I have to thank her for still believing in me.  I'm practicing at her academy.  I'm just feeling, yeah, great there.  I'm feeling great with my entourage.  Winning on my mom's birthday makes it even more special.

Q.  Obviously a lot of the players who are in this stage of the semifinals are surprising people.  Does that make it more special for you to be one of the four?

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  Yeah, if you would have told me in the beginning of the tournament who was going to be with the last four, I would never say the four who are still in actually.

I mean, yeah, okay, Agnieszka.  But the other three are a little bit of a surprise.  I think I'm the most surprising name in the last four, but I don't really care, to be honest, at this moment.

I'm really satisfied with the last two weeks.  Yeah, I cannot tell you in words how happy I am.

Q.  Does it make it better to have those other players around?

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  I don't really care who the other three are.  I mean, I'm just playing match by match.  Yeah, it works the last 10 days, so I keep on doing it.

I don't care who I have next in the semifinals.  I just care about the way I played today and that I have to go on tomorrow again.

Q.  Looking ahead to your next match, what sort of matchup do you expect with Marion?

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  I never played Marion, so I really have no idea.  So, yeah, you know, that's something for tomorrow.  I'm going to enjoy today from the victory, and tomorrow we will see.

I never played her, as I said, so I don't really know what to expect.

Q.  But having watched her style...

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  I also didn't really watch her match today or the last couple of days.  I was just focusing on myself.  I only know she has a two‑handed forehand and backhand.  That's about it.

Q.  Because you perhaps didn't expect to be where you are and a lot of other people didn't expect to see you in the semifinal, does it mean you can go into your match and play with complete freedom, with absolutely nothing to lose?

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  Yeah, definitely, I think.  But still you have to beat Kvitova, a former champion.  It's going to be a tough match.  I think also in the first set she played really, really well.  She was putting me under pressure from the moment she could.

Normally my kind of game is to come to the net the often as I can.  I think at 6‑4, 3‑2 for her that was the first time I was able to come to the net.  She's just a great champion.

Of course I had nothing to lose today, but still you have to do it.

Q.  Does that count for the semifinal, as well?

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  Yeah, I think already, okay, the fourth round I was maybe still the favorite in the match.  But on paper, yeah, doesn't count for me.

As you see today, Kvitova was the favorite ranking‑wise.  But rankings doesn't say anything.  Of course I'm again the underdog in the next match.  I mean, every match I play here the next couple of days, so...

Q.  We were trying to work out the last semifinalist who was wearing glasses.  Are you shortsighted or are you longsighted?

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  I'm wearing it to see far.  I don't know how you say it.  See the ball a little bit more clear.

Q.  Coming up in Belgium behind Kim and Justine, to have so much success when you were young, what was that like?  Ten years after you won the junior title here, did you think it would take this long?

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  I never expected this to happen in my life.  I mean, it was already a great performance that I managed to get into the fourth round I think in the Australian Open this year.

Yeah, being in the semifinals of a Grand Slam, of the biggest tournament throughout the year, yeah, it has no words.  As I said, I never expected I would be able to come and get this far, so far.

Q.  Are you at all friendly with the Tour de France cyclist Jan Bakelants?

KIRSTEN FLIPKENS:  Actually, yeah, of course I'm following all the Belgian sportsmen and women.  I also know he had some rough last couple of months.  I'm not friends with him or something.  I didn't even meet him in person.

But I know his history about coming back and fighting back against injuries.  So that's why he's getting a lot of respect from me.

We're supporting each other from far away.


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