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June 29, 2018

Aryna Sabalenka

Eastbourne, England

A. SABALENKA/A. Radwanska

6-3, 1-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So another three-setter.

Q. And doubles.

Q. On a scale of 1 to 10, how tired are you feeling right now?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, of course I'm tired a little bit, of course. But I'm fine. I will do some physio and some massage, and I hope it will help me.

Q. How do you feel about having reached your first premier final?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I'm so happy, of course. This is big final for me, and I hope I will do my best tomorrow.

Q. If you think back one week, what were you expecting from this tournament? What would have been a good week for you?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, one week before I didn't know I will make a final here, but then all what I did and just try to show my best, because I know I can play well. Just I have to put it on the game. Well, so I did my best, and now I'm in final and I'm so happy.

Q. What were you thinking in that first set when there were six breaks of serve to start?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Whew. It was bad start of the game, and I thought, well, okay, I am tired. Just try to find your game, find your serve.

Finally I did it in the first set, and then totally lose it for second set and then found again. When you're tired, it's not easy to play every game like 100%, and that was my thinking on the game.

Q. Was it sheer determination, then? After you struggled in the second set, was it just determination that got you through the third?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I called my coach on the court, and he said, Don't play. If you cannot do it, so just like retire from the game.

I'm like, No, come on. I can do it. (Laughter.)

So the score was 3-4 -- no, no. I don't remember. 2-3 and Love-40 and then she make dropshot and I thought, well, so this is the time to come back (smiling). Finally I did it.

Q. What's it been like working with Dimitry (phonetic)?
ARYNA SABALENKA: He's so funny. This is the most thing which I like, because, you know, like when I call him on the coaching, he don't try to be so focused on the game. He try to relax me, like, and this what I need.

Out of the court, he's so funny, and this is all what womans need, I think.

Q. So his, "Retire," that was like reverse psychology. Yeah, quit?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, because I was tired. I was tired and he know that. And he said, like, Okay, it's Wimbledon next week. If you cannot do it, it's best way retire. Because now you're not playing tennis. You're just do some bad things on the court.

And I was okay with that. He know how to find the words, words to explain there, which he think.

Q. Did you surprise yourself with the third set, how you came back?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah. Actually, yeah. After Love-40 on the sixth game, I was, like -- I was surprised that the scores start to be like 40-All, and this is start again the game, which I try to show.

Yeah, I was a little bit surprised, and then I just keep going and she was -- she couldn't play.

Q. Do you feel like those last few games was the best tennis you played all match?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I think so. Yeah, because I really needed.

Q. I read somewhere earlier that one of the things you said you wanted to improve was your movement -- going back a year, two years ago -- improve your movement. Do you feel that doubles has really helped you? What's it been like?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, it's helped me a lot with volleys, with returns. Doubles is actually pretty good for singles, because you're more focused, like, you can focus on, like, serve and volley, volley again, returns.

It's really help you on the singles, because you believe in your volley game more. And this is a big things.

Q. Does it make it more special that you're playing someone of Caroline's caliber tomorrow, being that she's ranked No. 2 and this is your first...
ARYNA SABALENKA: Of course this is amazing, because I remember one thing when I was young. I watch her game, and there was, like, the longest point which I saw, and she was, like, she was totally dying on that, but it was amazing because she's good fighter. She try to put all the balls in.

I was watching and I thought, well, it would be nice to play against her. I hope it will happen sometime. Now I play final with her and I'm happy.

Q. Are you expecting to be made to run and run and run?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah (smiling). I think it will help.

Q. How is your running game? Because traditionally you're probably a lot stronger in...
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, we will see what will be tomorrow. I don't know.

Q. You managed to keep some of the points short against Radwanska today. Do you think you might be able to do that again against Wozniacki?
ARYNA SABALENKA: No, I don't think so. It will be long game. It will be tough to do against her. But I will try. All what I can say just like I can try.

Q. Have you heard from Victoria, by any chance?

Q. Azarenka?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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