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September 28, 2019

Aryna Sabalenka

Wuhan, Hubei, China


6-3, 3-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What is going through your mind right now? How are you feeling?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I mean, I can't believe that I defend this title. I couldn't even imagine that I will be able to do this.

Well, right now I'm just happy. I don't know. I can't believe it's happened.

Q. Alison played so well in the second set. How did you turn it around in the third?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't know. She played really well. She's a great player, big fighter. I knew it's going to be a tough match.

Third set I came out, This is a final, try to do everything you can. Just one match to go, just do your best.

I don't know. I was just focusing on my game, focusing on each point. It's help me to come back in this match.

Q. Also having to play doubles in an hour, being the first player to appear in both the singles and doubles final...
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, it's for sure crazy week for me. I don't know how, but I feel really well. This is so weird. I'm ready to go for one more match.

I just try to play as much as I can and go as far as I can in the tournament. Just so appreciative for doubles because it's help me to find my confidence. I don't want to stop playing. Well, I just want to keep going.

Q. In the third set you seemed like a different player. Very little grunting. You didn't celebrate after winners. When did you feel you were going to win?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I was trying to focus, like I said, on my game. I was, like, when the winner happened, I was already thinking about the next point. That why I didn't celebrate. I think I didn't even scream that much like on the first set.

I think this kind of mindset help me to win this set, to win this match. Maybe something which I have to work on.

Q. You got a little bit emotional in your speech talking to your team. What does it mean to be able to win this title soon after the drama of the US Open?
ARYNA SABALENKA: This means a lot. This year been really tough for everyone. I was really afraid that I will be not able to defend this title. I was already saving my points on the beginning of this year. This was my problem. That's why I couldn't work well, couldn't play well, couldn't fight actually.

Finally to defend this title, I couldn't even imagine it's going to happened. Right now it's so many thoughts going through my mind. I'm really thanks-ful to my team because they keep staying with me. It was really tough year for them because I was really crazy. You couldn't even imagine how much.

I'm happy that we can keep working together and keep doing something. I don't know what to say (smiling). Yeah, don't put it anywhere, please.

Q. You had success with the power game last year. Power game now. In between sometime you seemed to try to decide to put more balls back into the court. Can you explain a little bit what was the reasoning behind that change of strategy.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Because sometimes there's some moment on the court where you just need to put balls in, make sure that opponent see that you're not going to give this win easily, that the opponent should work for it. This is why I'm doing sometimes this kind of game.

It's also help me to find the rhythm of the game because sometimes when I hit hard, I start to miss a lot. To find the perfect timing and perfect rhythm of the game, you just need to put more balls in. Otherwise I'll just go through everywhere instead of the court.

Q. What is the ideal brand of Aryna Sabalenka's tennis if you could choose? How would you like to play?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Aggressive. Just go for it. Hit as hard as you can and be fearless.

Q. We noticed you have been to Shaolin Temple. Pictures are popular in social media in China. Do you think the trip helped you get some power?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I think so. It's definitely a lot of power there. I just take all of the power from there and bring it on the court. I'm just looking forward to go there again. I will keep doing it. I think it's help me.

Q. What is your magic in this city, why you're doing so well in Wuhan?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I think crowd actually. They really help me here a lot. They support me like nobody else. Every time I'm stepping on the court, on the same court, I feel this support. It's amazing. I just start playing really well.

I don't know. I think definitely the crowd.

Q. You hit 18 aces today. That's the most you've ever hit in a match in your career.
ARYNA SABALENKA: How many double-faults?

Q. We don't talk about the double-faults, right?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Okay (smiling).

Q. Talk about how important your serve was for you today.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, it was really important today because from the baseline she was playing really, really well. Sometimes my serve helped me a lot, also physically. I knew it's going to be a long rally. When ace happen, I'm like, Not this one. But serve is really important. This is my power. I was, like, really happy every time I'm making the ace.

At the same time it brings some double-faults. But if it's 18 aces, maybe it's okay.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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