PARIS, France - Perspective is the word of the day in today's Insider Notebook from Day 3 at the French Open.
Daria Kasatkina jumping for joy.
Ankle injuries are the cause celebre in the early days of Roland Garros, but thankfully they aren't holding back the women so far. Simona Halep, Daria Kasatkina, and Eugenie Bouchard all came into the tournament nursing serious ankle injuries that left their Paris participation in doubt, but all three came through their first round matches with wins.
But no one was as ecstatic as 20-year-old Kasatkina, who rolled her ankle in Rome and raced the clock to be fit enough to play her favorite Slam of the year.
"One week ago I was not sure if I will play here or not," Kasatkina said after beating Yanina Wickmayer 7-5, 6-4. "So it's amazing that I already won one match and I will play maybe more. I'm so happy I could play almost 100%. I think it was a good match. I'm so glad I won it and showed not a bad level of tennis."
It took six hours of treatment every day and a step-by-step rehabilitation regime that involved basic basket drills on one leg to get Kasatkina ready. Asked how the last two weeks have been for her, Kasatkina described it as "hell".
"When I got the injury and I went to the hospital and I was sitting in front of the door with a leg like an elephant, you just don't know what to expect," the 2014 junior champion said. "But at the end I am here and I think it's amazing."
"Everybody was telling me it's ok to be ready for Wimbledon. But I said, come on, what about Roland Garros? I want to play. When you want, you can do anything. I think mentally I sped up my recovery.
"Yesterday [was the first practice where] I started to really run without thinking I could break something. I came here five days ago. The first practice was easy, nothing special. The next one I was practicing with the girls, but it was terrible. I couldn't move. The day after I had a day off.
"Yesterday I reached my first drop shot. It was the last point of the practice, I reached the drop shot. My coach he hugged me and he said, "That was the slide of confidence."
"Today when I had the warm-up in the gym, I was jumping around like...stupid," Kasatkina said laughing. "I wanted to play so much. My coach looked at me and said 'Dasha, please calm down. Don't break something else.'
"The guys playing before me, I was like come on! They were playing 40-0, deuce, advantage, again and again and again. I was like 'Are you men or what? Just serve, guys!' I was really excited to go on court today."
"Roland Garros is absolutely special for me. It was my first Grand Slam as a junior, it's my first Slam as a pro, I won the juniors here, and this is my fifth year. I'm always happy to come here. I know everything here. I just love this tournament."
Kasatkina plays the red-hot Marketa Vondrousova in the second round. The two last faced off here at Roland Garros in the semifinals of the 2014 junior tournament, which Kasatkina went on to win.
Elina Svitolina is ready to take what's hers.
The No.5 seed and No.1 on the Porsche Race to Singapore is flying high with confidence these days. The Ukranian is on the short-list of favorites for the title in Paris. And yet despite her sparkling results this season - she leads the tour in match wins, titles, and wins over Top 5 players - Svitolina is flying well below the radar in Paris.
She's used to it. And the fact that she has to work harder for the attention and respect she deserves is just another motivating factor for the hard-working, ambitious 22-year-old.
"I felt it a lot because I needed to be probably in Top 15 to be under the same spotlight as probably some players who were Top 30 but from a country where tennis is more popular in their country.
"But for me I know I accept it. I just decided that I'm going to work even harder, that I need to be more focused on my job. I know that probably I'm not from the country that is with tennis, but I decided that I'm just gonna be the best and then I'm going to get my attention."
We should all have Johanna Konta's perspective.
The British No.1 bowed out in the first round to Hsieh Su-Wei, leaving her 0-3 in main draw play at Roland Garros. Konta admitted to being disappointed she allowed herself to get frustrated in the third set, which may have led to her slew of unforced errors in the final frame, where she misfired on 20 unforced errors.
But if there's any player on tour that can offer any grounded perspective after tough losses, it's Konta. Famously unconcerned with outcomes and more focused on her work ethic and effort, the World No.8 said afterwards that she's not particularly concerned about any backlash from the British public after the early exit.
"Well, the thing is, I most importantly play tennis for myself and I play tennis for my own enjoyment," Konta said. "And I'm a very lucky person in the sense that I get to do something that I love on a daily basis. I think if I were to approach every match and every tournament according to external expectations, I think that would be quite a difficult existence to live.
"All I can promise whenever I go out on court is that I will always do my best. Whether that comes away with a win or a loss, I don't know. That depends a lot on the day, a lot on the level that I can produce, and also what my opponent can produce on the day. And that's really all I can do with that."
Alizé Cornet mixes business with pleasure...sometimes.
It's not the first round at Roland Garros unless Alizé Cornet is stuck in a grueling three-set match. The No.43 came through a two hour and 35 minute grind to beat Timea Babos, 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2 to advance to the second round, where she'll play Barbora Strycova.
During the French portion of her press conference, Cornet was asked whether she plays tennis with her boyfriend, Michael Kuzaj, who played collegiate tennis in America at the University of Southern Indiana. Cornet loved the question.
"As a matter of fact, yes," she said. "I do like to play tennis with him, because he's a good sport. I have had one boyfriend who was a tennis player, and it was not fun to play with him, because we had a very different approach.
"I don't like to lose. You know me. You know that's the way I am. It was not fun to play with him."
Quote of the Day: Take it away, Daria Kasatkina.
"Last year I lost 10-8 in the third [to Bertens at Roland Garros]. The next month I lost to Venus 10-8 in the third [at Wimbeldon]. I was like...nice. I'm a big boss of third sets."