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August 25, 2018

Aryna Sabalenka

New Haven, Connecticut

A. SABALENKA/C. Suarez Navarro

6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What does it feel like to get your first title and to do so going into a major championship?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I am so happy with my first title. Well, this is a great feeling. In the first second you are so happy, then you understand, I have to work more because the next year I have to do it again. Well, you're happy. In the same way you're like, Okay, I have to work more, so...

This is how I feel right now.

Q. Were you aware of the names Halep and Wozniacki both broke through here? To have your name now on that list here in New Haven, what does that do for your confidence and where you think your career is headed?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I was thinking about it, I would like to put my name there on the right. Well, I am so happy. It's always nice to see your name, like a winner.

Q. How hard-fought was it? How hard did you have to work to get this title?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, we work a lot with my team. It's not easy job, but when you understand for what you're working, well, then it's start to be easier.

Yeah, it's been a great preparation for the hard courts. I'm so happy that I got one title. Probably more to come, I don't know (smiling).

Q. Do you feel like this could springboard you into even more success that you have the first one out of the way? This could lead to a lot more success?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I don't know. I will just work more, just to try to keep going, keep showing my best tennis, and we will see.

Q. Did you have a timetable in your mind for when you would break through with a tournament win? Are you where you thought you might be in your career? Are you ahead of where you thought you might be?
ARYNA SABALENKA: It's not easy to have some breaks between the tournament, even if you play final. Then you just, I don't know -- I don't know. Now I'm happy that I play on Tuesday so I have time to break it a little bit, so probably have some rest. It is how it is. We have to be like...

Q. In your career, when you were thinking about, I will get me first win when I'm... Did this follow your plan?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Actually I didn't have some plan. I was just, like, keep going, keep fighting. Now I am 20 years old and I have my first title, so...

It's okay. I am on my plan, okay, yeah.

Q. What was the first thing you said to your coach after you won?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Okay, let's hug. Nothing. He just say, Okay, stop it. I was like hug him. He said, Okay, stop it, congrats. Then I said, Thank you, coach.

Q. Right before you served for the match, you and your coach talked on the court. What did you talk about at that moment?
ARYNA SABALENKA: What we were talking about? I have to think.

I don't remember. He just say, Everything is fine, just stay in the point. Don't try to finish the point with one serve or just winner. Just try to play point like in five, six shots. Don't be nervous. Everything is fine, going on your side. No pressure. It's on her side. You have to be calm. That what he was talking about.

Q. When you came into this tournament, seeing all the names that were here, did you think you could win it?
ARYNA SABALENKA: After Cincinnati I was pretty confidence with this. I didn't care about who is here. I was care about, Okay, I'm playing this one, I have to down this one, then next one and next one. I didn't think, like, I will win this tournament for sure. I was just like, Work every match, and then...

Q. Do you have special plans for where the trophy is going? Special place in your home?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I think it will be some fight at home between my grandma and my mom who will get this one. I think I will put it -- I leave it with my grandma house because it's more space there. Yeah, in mom house, everything is full, so... Yeah, I will put it in my grandma.

Q. Does your little sister know yet?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Actually, I didn't get some message from her. Well, I think she know it because they were all looking my match. But she didn't write me anything. I going to call her and be a little bit pissed with her.

Yeah, she always happy when I win. I think she's happy right now, but I don't know. Probably she's sleeping. I don't know.

Q. How old is she?

Q. Why your grandmother's house? What has she meant for your life?
ARYNA SABALENKA: She's important part of my life. She's like mom. I have two moms right now. Well, I really love her. She always take care about me, you know, like all grandmas like this, so in love with his, how to say in English?

Q. Grandchildren?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, grandchild. Family, it's important. Family is always important part of your life. You always calling them if something happen. They support no matter what.

Q. Still going to McDonald's?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I was thinking about it. Probably, yeah, will go and say some ice cream, paella, I mean French fries, burger. I think I will go there (smiling).

Q. How did this tournament help set you up for the US Open next week, having something like this right before it?
ARYNA SABALENKA: It helps me a lot because it's no pressure on me. I'm like with a title. It's really help me. Like, I believe in myself even more. We will see what will be in US Open. I really hope it's no pressure on me.

Q. You've beaten a lot of good players in the past month. What made it all come together recently?
ARYNA SABALENKA: It's always great to beat a top player. Actually doesn't matter, top player or not top player, because everyone can play, everyone can win. Every match is important, important win.

Yes, I'm finish (smiling).

Q. On the court you seem to compete with yourself as much as your opponent, chide yourself like in a dialogue. Has that competitive spirit always been with you, always been that way?
ARYNA SABALENKA: What? Don't speak this quick, please. I try to follow you.

Q. Have you always been this competitive?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Not that much. I mean, you always wanted to be better on the court. Not always. I mean, it's always like up and down, like I said. Every match it's like crazy things. You always think that you could be better on the court, but in the same time you're just like, Okay, I have to focus on the next one.

I hope I'm answer for your question.

Q. How do you feel about playing the main draw of the US Open for the first time?
ARYNA SABALENKA: It's much better than play qualifier because qualifier have to pass three rounds, then you come back to main draw and you don't have any power any more. It's always better to start from main draw, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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