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February 18, 2020

Aryna Sabalenka

Dubai, United Arab Emirates


6-2, 4-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you think made the difference in the end? She came back in the second set, but you seemed really 'calm' maybe is not the right word, but in control in the third set.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I think I just made few not really smart mistakes. That's turn it into the third set. Well, I was just trying to stay calm and control the situation, like you said. I think I did it well.

Just a little bit cooled down, started to play through the points. Not try to hit it from the first ball. It's help me come back in the match. Still it was like 6-1, but tough set. She's a great player. It's always big fight against her. It's always tough.

I knew it and I was ready for like this.

Q. Was it difficult with the music from the party, to block it out?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Before the match started, I was thinking, Well, it's going to be tough, especially with my emotions. But actually on the court I didn't hear anything. That's good. Sometimes it's kind of relax me.

Q. Last year obviously you had a tricky one here because you had so many match points. Did that ever come to your mind when you were on the court?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Not really. I had so many matches losing that a match point. Like it's happens sometimes. Sometimes, I mean, from few match points, save match points, came back in the game, win it. It's nothing like really special.

I had there like really great opportunities to win that match, but it didn't happen. It is like how it is. I had really good lesson from there. It's help me to grow up.

Q. How do you feel about your game at the moment, how you played tonight?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, it's not the best tennis. I feel like through work I can win some matches. Who knows. I don't want to say anything. It's always like you say something and then it's happen all the way around.

I just going to work, like work every point, and through this work --

I'm really tired, so my English is getting worst. But you get my point.

Q. Your doubles partner tomorrow. Talk about that, how tricky it is.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, we played so many times I think before. It's always not easy. She's a great player. I know it. I know she's a big fighter. Well, I'm just go out there and enjoy the fight. It's like there's a court. Don't want to focus like she's my doubles partner, like we are friends and something.

Anyway, it's going to be like big fight.

Q. I notice Dmitry is back. What's going on?
ARYNA SABALENKA: This time it was expect. Everyone expect this, yeah (laughter)? I mean, I don't know what to say.

Q. You plan on continuing or playing it by ear? How is it working?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Don't want to think. Just keep going day by day and see what happens.

Q. There's a new rule where the coach can talk from the stands. Did you use it today? Do you think it's a useful thing?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Not really. I mean, we didn't use it that much. Everything what he could say, like keep going, breathe in and out, just relax. It wasn't like something tactical or whatever, so...

I mean, I think everyone does it even before.

Q. I guess it helps you because if you're speaking to each other in Russian, maybe the umpire in the past would have given you codes.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, it's much easier right now, of course. It's nothing to say on the match. Just support and that's it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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