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August 16, 2018

Aryna Sabalenka

Cincinnati, Ohio


6-4, 3-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Down in that final set and another comeback. How are you doing it?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Good question. I don't know (smiling).

I just say to myself, like, Come on. I will put every ball in. It's not what I need, and finally I did it. Actually, I don't know how because she did a really great serve and I just put the thing, I don't know, like a baby.

And then she was just going for the shot, and I was going back, like, No, no, no. Then I don't know. I save it. So I was lucky a little bit.

Q. In terms of the stress you put Dmitry under, does he want you to, one day, win in two sets? Or does he love the fact that you can fight like this?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I know. This is a big question, because I don't know when, but I hope I will start to win in two sets. When I was like 40-Love, the second set, 2-All, 40-Love on her serve, I miss the return and I look at him and he was, like, smiling. I was so pissed with everything because I didn't put the return in, and then I couldn't return her serve.

So it was like 3-2 and she break my serve. I was, like, again, again and again. He was also, like, okay. One more set.

Q. He's earning his money, isn't he?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I don't know what to say, but I hope the win in two sets will come. And he hopes so, too. He will come older as me (smiling). I'm sorry.

Q. When we spoke at Wimbledon, you were disappointed by that loss, but you said that your goal for the rest of the year was to find that calm on the court.

Q. Do you think that you have found something the last couple of weeks or no?
ARYNA SABALENKA: No. But I tried to actually. Sometimes I get really crazy on the court, and then I turn around and say, like, Well, keep calm and just keep going. This is really work for me.

So I hope some day I will win in two sets and I will be really calm on the court. Probably this is why I always play three sets because I start to think, no, no, no, I have to win this set, this game, this point, and probably this way. I cannot do this in two sets. But I hope sometimes in one day it's come. I hope so.

Q. Obviously you are known for being very passionate on court, and your coach is very calm and very even-tempered. How does that relationship work for you?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I think I feel this is a good thing, because if I have, like, crazy coach, can you imagine how we will be at this? Like, if I lost second set and he will be pissed with me and go off the court and I start to be really worry about it.

This way I think it's work, because he's calm. I'm, like, a little bit passionate about winning, and I'm, like, crazy sometimes on the court. Sometimes when I look at him and I see that he's calm, I'm, like, Okay, so he's calm, I think everything's right. So I just keep calm and go for it.

Q. How does it feel getting these wins? Wozniacki last week and now, you know, the two big wins that you had here? Does it still surprise you? Is it still, like, a fresh feeling when you get those big wins? What do you think?
ARYNA SABALENKA: You know, when I beat Wozniacki, after that I start to, I mean, believe in myself more and I start to feel comfortable against these players. I don't feel this pressure, like, Oh, she's a top player and I'm, like, 30-something.

Now I am pretty comfortable, and I'm just, like, I know that I can do it. And this is, like, unbelievable wins for me.

Q. Did that belief come specifically after beating Wozniacki? Because you have had a lot of good wins over the summer, but was that the one that...
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I think so.

Q. Why?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't know. Because she's a player, which for me is uncomfortable because she put a lot of balls in and she's really good mover on the court. After I beat her, I think I start to, Well, if I can beat these kind of players, so why I cannot do, cannot beat another one? This is really good.

Q. How much did that win after losing to her in Eastbourne -- that was a hard-fought battle in Eastbourne.
ARYNA SABALENKA: You know, after that loss, I was thinking before that match, well, I was so close to win it, just like just try to keep your serve. And after first set, I mean in Montreal, when I lost with the same situation, like, I was at least 5-3, and I was serving, I think, and there was totally, like, like the same situation, and I was, like, so pissed.

I was, like, Okay, come on, just keep going and probably you win it, or if you lose it, you will do it another time. Probably that way I come back because I start to think, don't worry.

Q. Did you actually start thinking about Eastbourne, and, "Again"?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, again, and I look at my coach, and he was, like, Don't worry. Everything is fine. Just keep going. So, yeah.

Q. What would it mean to you to be seeded at the US Open?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I think it's, like, nothing. I mean, okay, I will not play against first, like, against Halep or Wozniacki, against seeded players, but everyone right now is a good players and everyone can play and this is no different.

Q. Is it an accomplishment at all?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, of course.

Q. On the flip side, are you getting the sensation that people are starting to come for you?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, yeah. This is, like, unbelievable feeling, because, you know, people start to support you and, like, come to your matches and you feel that support and you think this is important thing in tennis, I think.

Q. You have a next match against Madison Keys.

Q. Also big hitter. Offense versus offense? What do you think about that matchup?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't know. I just feel calm and fight, like always, and try to, like, show people like my best tennis and we will see what it will be.

Q. When you're on the court, do you think about the fact that you're putting on a show, that part of being a tennis player is the entertainment part of it, engaging the fans?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't think so. Yeah, I just focus on every point and on this game.

Q. You called two, three times, your coach. How much he help you?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I think this is a big help for me, because sometimes I'm too crazy and I need, like, somebody who will come and say, like, Keep calm. Everything's fine. He handles it perfectly.

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