From Garbiñe Muguruza's strange trip to Ashleigh Barty's Top 10 ambitions, WTA Insider rounds up the best quotes from All Access Hour at the Brisbane International.
WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen
December 31, 2017

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - Top seeds Garbiñe Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, and Caroline Garcia, as well as Australian stars Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur, all sat down with the media ahead of the Brisbane International.

Garbiñe Muguruza runs out of gas. 

"First of all, [my flight] was a little bit delayed. And so then I got there and after two hours flying, the captain announced we have an emergency. We have to go back to L.A. because we are losing fuel and the radar is not working so we are blind.

"So I'm, like, it took two hours to realize that this was [happening]?. And then they canceled it because, obviously, it was dangerous, but that's it.

"It's a lot of adventures. I'm lucky that with all the traveling I do, I don't have that many issues. So that's not bad."

In Brisbane, local girl Ashleigh Barty climbed to new heights at Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge. (Tennis Photo Network)

Ashleigh Barty has her sights set on a Top 10 debut.

"Obviously that elusive Top 10 is just there. It feels like it's very close but in the same breath, it's very far away. For me it's important to have my right processes on and off the court and let my racquet do the talking in a sense and try and go about my business on the court and the ranking will take care of itself as well."

Sam Stosur on what sets new Australian No.1 Barty apart:

"Even from when she was young, she always had a good tennis head. You'd be talking about whoever it was we were playing and she'd be like oh yeah, I've played them and they do this, this and this, when I did this, they didn't like that. She's really analytical and picks up different plays from different players really quickly. I think she reads tennis really well. She's got every shot that you need out on court, she feels comfortable slicing, she can hit bigger first serves, she can kick her second serve. She's got everything. It's just a matter of putting it all together. 

But that's the one standout thing. That her tennis brain is very good for someone, especially back then, was very young."

Garbiñe Muguruza living the No.1 lifestyle.

"I know it's going to be a tough year. There's going to be a lot of consistency in the players. And, no, I'm not thinking [about No.1]. It's in the back of my mind to be able to train and have a lifestyle to become the best, but I'm not here thinking about the points.

"I don't know the secret [of a No.1 lifestyle]. You just work as hard as you can, every detail. You don't take nothing as a light thing or a joke. Everything is very important and you put the silly things aside. You don't have time to waste, kind of. Not that I had before, but it's just even more professional or strict, you know."

"You know, it's just a mindset that I want to have. I know [the No.1 ranking] is always in play, and it's going to be for the rest of the year maybe in play." 

Elina Svitolina reflects on the highs and lows of 2017.

"I spoke a lot to my team and went through all the highs and lows. Of course there have been more highs than lows, but still, there were some matches that I had to win and I didn't play my best. It's part of tennis and learning and moving forward. I'm excited for 2018. Of course there will be a lot of expectations, but from my side I just try to take one match at a time, one tournament at a time, and just stay focused on what I have to do on the court."

"There were lots of positive things from that year, but to improve and to move forward you have to remember those bad moments. It's quite tough but that's the way forward. Of course, I have lots of confidence from 2017 and it's been a great year. I've been very proud of some matches, some tournaments when I was down and I came back to win and really showed that I have the potential to play at that high level for a long period. I just have to work and do what I have to do."

Sam Stosur on the increased parity on tour.

"I think it's a great opportunity, but there's probably 40 or 50 players who think it's a great opportunity as well. Even though there's not one person dominating all the Slams, I still think the depth of the tour is great at the moment. Everyone is hard to beat, everyone's a great player. You've got those different winners because everyone is so close." 

Karolina Pliskova on hiring new coach Tomas Krupa, who previously coached Barbora Strycova. 

"I think he was, for me personally, the last option from Czech Republic [as a] coach. So that's why I just went for it even though he was still, at that time, the coach of Barbora. But I still have to think about myself. 

"So for me, it was the last option from Czech Republic. Otherwise, I have to go to different countries and that's always a little bit more difficult to search in the world for a coach. So I want to try this."

Caroline Garcia avoids embarrassment.

"When I got back to Lyon I did a cross-interview with [French football star] Wendy Renard. It was a very fun moment, really nice. It was in the regional newspaper. We knew we would have a nice two pages. The next day I took the train, so I got the newspaper.

When I got to the newspaper stand I was like, "Oh my gosh. We're on the front page!" I was like, "Dad, you have to buy it, I can't do it." It wasn't planned for us to be on the front page but that was really nice.