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May 28, 2019

Aryna Sabalenka

Paris, France

A. SABALENKA/D. Cibulkova

7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. How do you assess this first match? Was not an easy draw.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah. Actually, it was not easy much, and she's a great player. And I'm so happy that I won this match. It was really important for me.

And I think it was a great level today, and we both were on fire. But I think I was a little bit luckier. So I'm so happy with the result.

Q. What are your expectations for this tournament here?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't have any expectations. I'm just, like, focusing on each game, each match, and just try to bring everything I have on the court.

Q. How do you feel on clay particularly?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I'm doing better, actually.

Q. Better?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah. In the first weeks was, like, really terrible for me, but in the last couple of weeks I kind of find my game on the clay court.

Q. What do you do better than in the first weeks?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I think my movement is much better and I understand where I have to go, like, from each position on the court and, like, stay longer in the rally. Yeah.

Q. Have you got a better chance this year here in doubles because you have won Indian Wells and Miami, which were the two biggest tournaments since the Australian Open, with Elise Mertens?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, it's the same for doubles. The first, like, Madrid and Rome, we kind of trying to find ourselves, like, on the clay court because also in doubles it's a bit different.

And so we just going to go on the court and try our best and try to find our game, and especially in doubles.

Q. How is it to play with Elise?
ARYNA SABALENKA: It's great. She's a nice person and a great player, and it's really nice to share a court with her.

Q. What are her chances, do you think, here?
ARYNA SABALENKA: We all have some chances here, you know. (Smiling.)

You mean in singles?

Q. In singles. Yeah, yeah.
ARYNA SABALENKA: I'm saying we all have chances here. And she's a great player, like I said, and I think she's great on the clay court. And we'll see.

Q. What can you learn from her? Maybe the sliding, you know, when she takes those balls like a squash forehand and stuff like that?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I didn't think about that, but -- I don't know. I don't know, actually. I don't know what to answer on this question.

Q. But what do you learn from each other? I mean, when you play together in doubles, what do you pick from her game and what does she pick from you?
ARYNA SABALENKA: How she forget about the bad points. She's like, It's okay. We just keep going.

Or if you, like, win the point and it was weird point, she's like, Good enough.

So, you know, her way to forget the past, and this is what I'm trying to learn from her.

Q. What is her strongest shot if you have to assess her?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't know.

Q. Come on. You play with her.
ARYNA SABALENKA: She's good from each side.

I don't want to tell this.

Q. She's my compatriot, so you can tell me.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Okay. All shots. She's good from each side. (Laughing.)

Q. What is something that you --

Q. Volleys?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Doesn't matter. I'm going to say volleys.

Q. And as a person, I mean, on court or outside the court, how is she?
ARYNA SABALENKA: She's nice. Like, relaxed, no pressure from her. Like I said, she's a cool girl. It's nice to be friends with her and to have her, like, a doubles partner. So she's cool.

Q. How did you get together, in fact?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't know. We just meet each other and do you want to try to play doubles in the big tournaments? Because we're both more focused on singles. And just like, yeah, let's go for it.

Q. Was that at the start of the year or last year?
ARYNA SABALENKA: It was on the beginning of this year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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