The Top 8 seeds descended on All Access Hour at the Rogers Cup to tell all ahead of the Premier 5 event. Svetlana Kuznetsova discusses her quick change for the Player Party, Simona Halep on her advice to Canadian teen Bianca Andreescu, and much more!
WTA Insider David Kane
August 7, 2017

TORONTO, Canada - The first Premier 5 event of the North American summer hardcourt swing got underway on Monday, with the Rogers Cup playing host to the world's Top 8 women at an entertaining All Access Hour.

New WTA World No.1 Karolina Pliskova faced the press alongside Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Garbiñe Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Wozniacki, Johanna Konta, and Svetlana Kuznetsova; check out some of their best quotes right here on!


On her celebratory Instagram photo after becoming WTA World No.1:
“I wanted to pose with the thumbs up or something like this, and my boyfriend said, ‘Come on, pretend you are a little bit happy!’ So I jumped!"

On nearly winning her first set against nemesis Agnieszka Radwanska (currently trails 0-7):
“I’ve never beaten her, but I won our practice set 6-5 today! I was so happy today. It’s tough to play her because she reads my game, pretty much, and always plays well against me. We haven’t played yet this year, and it might be different because I know she’s not in the best level this year.

"I was glad to have time to practice with her; we only had an hour and we finished 6-5, so I decided it was my best score ever. I couldn’t win the whole set, but I do believe I can beat her. It would be a great moment, right behind getting to No.1!”

Elina Svitolina, Rogers Cup, Toronto


On what has changed since becoming a Top 10 player:
“Everyone listens to you more! There’s pressure, but it’s a part of tennis. It gives you the kind of push you need each morning to get on the court, go to the gym, and work. It’s good to be a Top 10 player, but it’s not something I think about too much, because you could end up playing mind games with yourself.”

On advice she would give to juniors transitioning onto the WTA level:
“Juniors have to be more patient. When you’re young, you want the results straight away, like the next day. If you trained hard in the gym the night before, you expect to play unbelievably. This is normal for young people but you need to be patient, train a lot, and lose matches, because they’ll help you for the future and learn what you need to work on and improve. Their bodies are also still developing; their bones are still like jelly a little bit, so they might play consistently for a couple of matches, but one whole year can be a challenge because they break down a little. It’s important for them to take their time and stay focused on the big picture.”


On winning the Rogers Cup in 2010:
“It doesn’t feel so long ago, to be honest. When you say it like that, it makes me feel old! I think players change all the time. When you’re at the top of the game, everyone’s trying to find a way to beat you, so you need to stay a step ahead all the time. You need to keep improving. Since then, I’ve improved, gotten more experience, and that’s made me a better player.”

On how she stays healthy after dealing with multiple injuries in 2016:
“I used to push myself in the gym to the point where I almost broke down. That used to be great for me, mentally, that I would be so exhausted at the end of the day that I could barely walk. But the older you get, you can’t do that anymore. I started to do more preventative work. I’m working hard, but in a more reasonable way. It doesn’t mean I’m in worse shape, but more that I’m doing other things.

"Sometimes the body needs recovery. I think in the past, I would think, ‘I’m fine; I don’t need to recover. I can keep going.’ When I was young, I never needed a massage after a match, but this is my 12th year on tour. You have to listen to your body, and when it’s tired, it’s tired. It’s better to get that massage and stretch.”

Garbiñe Muguruza, Toronto, Rogers Cup


On how she approaches the second year of being a Grand Slam champion:
“I have more experience, and I know it sounds very cliché, but it’s important, being in this position, to have been in this position before. I know what to do and what not to do. One year might not seem like so long ago, but it does for me, like I got something out of every week, and I’m a more complete player.”

On temporary coach and 1994 Wimbledon winner Conchita Martinez:
“I’ve been in touch, and we talked in Stanford. She wanted to know how I was feeling, and we shared a little bit. But we’re both very busy; we always keep in touch, and we always talk. But it’s a little bit less than at Wimbledon, of course!”

Simona HALEP (ROU)

On Canadian wildcard Bianca Andreescu, who reached the Citi Open quarterfinals on her WTA debut:
“I talked with her last year in Montréal. We did a function together and we spoke on the way back. I remember telling her to move up, and not to play juniors anymore. If that was bad advice, sorry! I think it’s good for her, because she needs to face stronger players to get better faster.

"She’s a good person, very nice. She has the desire to be there. I wish her luck, and hopefully she’ll be on top soon. She deserves it because she’s been working hard. It’s nice to be in this position because as a kid, I had idols, and I was always trying to learn something from the bigger players. It’s a nice feeling that some players see me as a role model.”

On posting motivational quotes to Instagram:
“I look through them every day. I read them on the Internet and I like posting those kinds of things. I think they give me a good impulse to move forward.”

Johanna KONTA (GBR)

On "helping" Pliskova become WTA World No.1 at Wimbledon:
“She needs to say, ‘Thank you!’ Where is she? No, I mean, that’s just the way the rankings go, and her No.1 position is definitely from her work. I claim no credit, but it’ll be a nice thing to say if I ever want her to buy me dinner!”

On the increased depth in women's tennis:
“I think the women’s game is in a really good position. We have such depth in our sport, even with Serena, who says she’s going to be back and we look forward to that. Overall, the depth has grown and grown, and that comes through in the quality of matches, regardless of round or tournament. It’s quite a time to be a part of the sport, but I’m enjoying it. I know every time I step onto the court, that it’ll be a tough match.”


On a difficult flight to Toronto and rushing to the Player Party:
“My flight got canceled. I was supposed to arrive Wednesday night, but I didn’t get in until Thursday morning. I had to sleep one night in New York, and then my luggage didn’t come until the next night.

"I had to go to the Player’s Party, so I had to quickly buy some things. I went to H&M, because all I had was pajamas! I only had half an hour before the party, so I was panicking, because I had no make-up, no nothing. I like to be organized and prepared for everything I do. H&M did some easy make-up, and so I went to the party. Thank god it was quiet, and the bar had ping pong.”

On Dolce, her emotional support dog:
“I was going to take him here. He’s my emotional support animal, so I’m allowed. Yes, I need emotional support because I travel on my own, and I get depressed. So I’m allowed to take one to America and Canada. But my dog is very scared of everything, and gets very stressed; it’s almost like he needs his own emotional support animal, more than me!

"So I felt sorry for him and didn’t take him with me to Toronto. I’m very sad and miss him a lot. It would help to have a dog. My coach Carlos is a great friend of mine, and if he wasn’t with me for the last few years, I don’t know how I would have dealt with everything. Sometimes, bringing a friend to be with you on the road helps, but my friends are always busy working. I still try.”