October 1, 2020
A. SABALENKA/D. Kasatkina
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. A long day for you.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah.
Q. If we can rewind to the start of the day, the win over Kasatkina. Tight first set. Trading a lot of breaks. Once you got that first set, you seemed quite comfortable.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, yeah, it was a tough first set. She played really well. She's a tricky player, I would say, like on the clay court. It was really tough to play. She has a great slice, dropshots, and great forehand, spin.
Yeah, I had some trouble there. I was just trying to figure out how to handle it. As soon as I won the first set, I felt like much more comfortable and I was going for more shots, like I was kind of feel the ball perfectly. I was just go for it.
I would say it was tough for her in the second set to handle this power from me. I didn't miss so much. So, yeah, I'm happy with the second set. The first set was like a little tricky.
It was a great fight. I'm happy that I could handle it.
Q. It's your first third round at Roland Garros, which we know how good of a player you are. Seemed like it was inevitable. Can you talk about how different you feel coming into this tournament maybe this year than in years past?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I feel a little bit different. I'm not focusing about the clay court, because before I was thinking a lot, like, Oh, it's a clay court, it's not my surface and I have so much troubles on it.
But for now I feel like it's okay. I can play on it. I feel the game and I have enough, like, shots to play here actually, to make someone work.
Yeah, I feel more comfortable here this year. Not so much thinking about the clay court. I'm just playing my game. That's it. Focusing on the right things. Yeah, it's help me a lot.
Q. Do you feel that you kind of discovered, not discovered but maybe I guess remembered kind of the power of your game regardless of the surface in Strasbourg? Because you played a very good tournament there. Just narrowly that loss to Svitolina. But I would think that you would gain confidence in terms of your ability to play on clay there.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, you're actually right. My confidence there, I was just like every match I was playing better and better, kind of find my rhythm. Because every match I knew what I have to do, like I knew that my game is there. I just need to bring it on the court.
Yeah, I lost against Svitolina but it was really close match. It was tough conditions for me there, but I would say I fight till the end. I put everything in that match.
I'm not happy, but at the same time I felt on that match like I did everything. Maybe of course I could maybe do something like else, but at that moment I did my best. I gave everything there.
I went from there like within the positive things, and I picked some nice things to bring here. And, yeah, I'm just keep working.
Q. Do you think the match today against Daria will prepare you well for playing Ons in the next round?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, of course it's help me to -- of course it helped me to prepare myself for the next round, but I would say Jabeur is a little bit different player. It's not that big spin on the forehand. She's kind of more flat.
But at the same time like she's playing so much slice and dropshot. Maybe that way Daria prepare me really well (smiling).
I mean, it's a different player. I will prepare myself a little bit differently for the next round. But, yeah, I feel like ready to go.
Q. You seem very calm for a slam.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, because I'm really tired. I put in so much pressure on myself in the Grand Slams. I don't want -- like I said in Strasbourg, I don't have any expectation like here in Strasbourg and in Roland Garros. And I feel like I just need to do my job and just fight, and we'll see.
I mean, I don't want to put that pressure, Oh, it's a Grand Slam, I have to do something. If I want to be the top, I need to win it right now.
I feel more relaxed and calm.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports