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Taylor Townsend first round

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Taylor Townsend speaks to the media following her defeat to Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-2

Q.  So you were really looking forward to being here.  I know that.  Must be very hard on you.  Can you give us a bit of your feeling about having gotten this far and what this experience will do for you?

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  Definitely it was a great experience.  I'm really glad that I was able to get the wildcard and be here, first and foremost.

I definitely am not pleased about my match, but it's just a learning experience really.  I'm just going to take what I've learned over the past two slams.  I'm going to go back home.  I'm going to work extremely hard and get ready for the US Open Series.

I have tons of tournaments to look forward to and a lot of great things are ahead, but it's time to just put my head down and work again.

Q.  Was the surface tough for you out in today?

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  No.  I really love the grass, so I wouldn't necessarily say that it was tough.

But the wind started to pick up late in the first and throughout the second set, so that was a little bit more difficult, having to deal with that.

But, I mean, I love the grass.  I mean, I haven't played any tournaments on grass, but that's not an excuse.

I'm really comfortable on the surface.  That's definitely no excuse for my play today.

Q.  Sorry if you answered this, but what has the last three weeks been like for you?  The whole French Open run got a lot attention, and then the wildcard coming here.

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  Yeah, it's definitely a new experience for me.  It's been fun, but at the same time, right after the French, the day after I landed - you know, I landed on Sunday.  On Monday I was back in the gym, back on the court.

It was an experience.  It was fun being in France and being able to experience the French people with so much support and then coming back to the States and having so much love and support.

But at the same time, I was looking forward to training and coming here, so I was really excited about that.  Just having the opportunity to be able to come and play on my favorite surface.

So it was definitely a lot of fun.  It was definitely - I had to adjust.  But at the same time, I still had to put my head down and work and understand that third round is great, but there is so much more.

And I want more.  So I worked really hard to be able to get here.

Q.  What was the moment like when you got the wildcard?

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  I was really excited.  I was in the car on my way to Chicago, so I couldn't freak out too much.

Q.  Were you driving?

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  No.  Zina was.  She might have swerved or something.  I was really excited.  It was such a blessing because I wanted it so badly.

We were arranging flights and everything because I hadn't booked my travel.  I was expecting to play quallies, which was fine.  Just being here was great.  I got to make it from Roehampton over to the All England Club.

I was so happy and excited that I had the opportunity, and I thanked the All England Club for that.  Hopefully next year I will be back and playing in the main draw again.

Q.  Feel like a totally different world thought being with the big girls?

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  Yeah, it's totally different.  I love Court 1.  Hopefully sometime soon I will be able to play on Centre Court.  Maybe next year.

But it's a different ballgame for sure.  I think that it's an adjustment.  At the same time, being able to play the French really kind of gave me that feel of being in the locker rooms and playing on the big courts and playing against these girls and understanding that I can compete and I'm on this level for sure.

Just matter of believe being in myself and doing it.

Q.  When you talk about your training, there have been issues raised that you're very familiar with and you responded to.  Do you think you need to make further adjustments in some way that you haven't done yet?  Learning from the French experience and this, is there a direction you need to take?

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  I mean, as far as fitness is concerned, I have a great team and staff on my side that have pushed and helped me and helped me understand and realize that my body is a total gift.

I realize that I'm very strong and I can do a lot of things athletically that probably many people can't do.  I train with 250 pound football players and we do the same stuff.

So, I mean, I have a great circle of people and a great team of supporters around me pushing me every day.  It's not easy.  Really, the training that we've been doing has really shown me a lot.

At the same time, it's up to me.  I want to work harder and I want to do more.  So, you know, it's my job to push them, and that's what we're going to do.  We've been working extremely hard every day.  All credit to them and me.

But, you know, where I want to go and what I'm trying to do, it's definitely more.

And I know I can do more, so...

Q.  In terms of this issue, do you think in some ways, or do you sense that a lot of people actually look up to you that you're doing what you're doing, that in your own way you're kind of a trailblazer?  Talk about that.

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  Yeah, I definitely think so.  I've gotten a lot of positive commentary and feedback from a lot of people saying that I am an inspiration, someone that they're looking up to and that they're very proud of.

So I take that to heart, and I'm really fortunate for that.  Because I mean, I'm only 18, so, you know, it's just the start.  But to be able to have that label, it's so nice.  I mean, I guess it's meant to be.

With the success that comes and with the success that will be in the future, I know that I will continue to inspire and hopefully encourage other people to do the same.

Q.  Sitting now watching you there, I couldn't help but think - if I had it right that - that, hey, it was just a little while that you were 50, 60 yards away on Court 1.  Did you ever look up and say, Hey, I'm sort of in the shadow of Court 1 and this is kind of interesting that here I am now on this different court?

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  Yeah.  Genie and I were actually talking about that in the locker room today.  We were just saying how big a difference a year or two makes.  You know, two years ago she won junior Wimbledon and now she's a seed here.

Last year I was in the finals of the juniors, and now I'm in the main draw.  What a difference a year makes.  My plan is to get back on Court 1, to be able to play on Court 1 and Centre Court.  You got to play on the small courts first and work your way up to there.

I mean, it's a process, so...

I don't have a problem with it.  A court is a court.

Q.  You're not in doubles, are you?


Q.  What's next for you?

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  Well, hopefully - I signed up for mixed with Donald Young, so hopefully we'll be able to play there.

If not, then I'm going to go home and see my family.  Haven't seen them for a while.  Just for a few days.

Then I'm going straight back to D.C. and, like I said, getting ready for the US Open Series.  I have maybe three and a half weeks of really hard???core training.

Really going to just bust it out in the gym and on the court so we can be tight for the US Open.

Q.  I know you just mentioned talking to Genie.  I know you were doubles partners and friends, but she's talked a lot in her press conferences - at the French especially - about not wanting to make friends on tour.  Obviously you two are still fairly close.  How do you see her approaching that side of the sport, and how you're sort of taking that social aspect of it as well, as you get your feet firmer in this tour?

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  Well, different people, different personalities.  I mean, Genie is kind of that type where she keeps her circle very small.  I'm learning that I'm kind of the same way.

I talk to a lot of people and I'm very sociable, but it - I can get lost in that.  So I try to scale back and just really focus on myself and keep my team around me and keep everything really tight.

But, I mean, like Sharapova, she doesn't talk to anybody.  It works for her.

So just different people, different things.  If that's her approach, that's great.  You know, it's working obviously, so I mean, I'm still kind of learning how I kind of work.

This is like my first full year on the tour.  Obviously I like to be friendly and say hi and stuff like that and be polite.

At the same time, it's a competition.  I don't want to make too many friends either.

Q.  Zina is so great.  What did she say to you after the match today?

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  I haven't talked to her yet.  My coach from Chicago, Kamau, is here.  We've kind of discussed the whole match and how I felt.

Q.  He's so great.  What did he say?

TAYLOR TOWNSEND:  Yeah.  Well, basically he just kept asking me what I thought about everything.  What did I think about what I did, what she did, everything.

We just kind of basically broke that down.  We were on the same page about a lot of things.  We kind of noticed how important some shots were that I missed that could have been the turning point for the match in both the first and second set.

So we were just identifying those things.  For sure he asked, When are you going to get the tape?  So I'm going to do that as soon as I'm done here.

Just going to talk about it and learn from this match.  We have time, so just get back out the court and just do it.


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  • Belinda Bencic celebrates her junior girls' victory.
  • Belinda Bencic with her championship trophy.
  • Taylor Townsend with her runners-up shield.
  • Belinda Bencic and Taylor Townsend.
  • Taylor Townsend congratulates Belinda Bencic.
  • A backhand played by Taylor Townsend.
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