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October 30, 2018

Aryna Sabalenka

Zhuhai, China

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just what have you been up to since Tianjin? Since Tianjin, you haven't played, so what has the last few weeks been like for you?
A. I had a little bit rest and then it was practicing for two weeks to be ready for this tournament. I was missing to play tennis, I mean, like matches. I'm so happy with this start with a win.

Q. Was there any concern between you and Dmitry that this first match you wouldn't know kind of what to expect, that maybe you lose momentum?
ARYNA SABALENKA: You never know what to expect from the girls. I think it helps us to have a few weeks off. And then we didn't care about the result. We just care about the future and trying to change something in my game.

Now is the last tournament, and probably after I will try to do something. But at the moment, we're just trying to find the way how I can improve more.

Q. What are you most pleased with about how you played today?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I think I played well in the first set. In the second set, I started to probably rush a little bit and make mistakes, sometimes stupid mistakes.

I think she helped me a little bit in the last few games. Well, I'm not happy with that because I was kind of making, like, some shit points.

Like, I mean, I think the game was quite good, just about a few stupid moments in the game. But not like -- it was great game for me and for her, I think.

Q. You've shot up the rankings in the last few months and were named Newcomer of the Year. It must be a great feeling to finish the season on such a high?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, of course I'm happy with that. Everyone would be happy with that. I didn't expect this well. Now I'm just enjoy it and try to improve more and more. Practicing more and more. It's motivate me really well. Well, it's really good feeling.

Q. A few weeks ago in China, in Beijing, there was an incident with the ball boy. Have you kind of learned from that experience and is that something you put it down to youth?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I'm so sorry because it was -- well, it was emotional for me. I was lose my mind. After that, I saw it on Twitter, and I was just, like, oh, my God, what I did. I didn't even remember this.

Then I was just like, wow, I'm sorry, this guy. It was bad of me. Now I will never do it again. I will try to be nice to the ball boys, even if they are just, like, so slow. I'm trying to be, like, okay, I'm keep going, not do anything to them.

I'm so sorry for that guy. Hopefully he's not pissed with me.

Q. In the past few months you won in Wuhan, quarterfinal in Beijing, Tianjin. Now you have this great start it Zhuhai. What is the thing in China that brings out the best in you? Have you thought about it?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I've said before, I always play well in China. I enjoy time here. Everyone is really nice here. They help you, doesn't matter what.

Well, I don't know, the atmosphere here for me, it's like something amazing. And the fans, they're so cool.

I got a present today. I never had that before. Like some cases for my phone with a picture. I already use it. And pillow with my pictures.

Well, it's nice to be here and I enjoy it. I think that's why here is much better than everywhere.

Q. You even opened a China social media account, Weibo. I'm not sure if you personally write it or your agent or WTA take care of it?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, yeah, because I think I have a lot of fans from China, and I think they are not using Instagram. They use Weibo. I think WTA help me with this because they just take some -- I just take some readers with that and they just post it special for this account.

Q. How do you feel when you saw the fans holding the national flag after the match?
ARYNA SABALENKA: It's really important for me because I really like my country. I'm so happy that I play for this country because everyone there is helping me. I think, like, the Federation, and our president, I think we have the best president of the Federation.

It's really important for me to see the people with our flag and my pictures and screaming my name. It's important for me and I'm so happy I have these kind of fans.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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