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May 6, 2021

Aryna Sabalenka

Madrid, Spain

Press Conference

A. SABALENKA/A. Pavlyuchenkova

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to be in the final of the Madrid Open?

ARYNA SABALENKA: It feels so good. Yeah, I'm really happy with my performance this week. Yeah, I'll do my best in the final.

Q. This must give you a bunch of confidence knowing your game on clay has improved a lot.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I think my game has improved a lot on the clay court. Yeah, for sure it's give me some confidence, yeah. But there's still so many things to work on. Yeah, I'm just really happy with my level here in Madrid.

Q. Now you get to play the world No. 1, Ash Barty. She's on a 18-game clay court winning streak. What is it going to take to beat her?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Physically I have to be ready for this match. Yeah, she's No. 1. She's great. I play her in Stuttgart. It's not easy game. I will do everything I can to prepare myself as good as I can. Yeah, just looking forward for this battle.

Q. I understand you have to play the final, you have to be concentrated on that. Yesterday I was told maybe in the summer you were not keen about going to United States. Perhaps you're going to play in Palermo. This is a very Italian question. Do I have true news or if I am wrong?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I think you're wrong, yeah. I think you're wrong.

Q. You're not going to Palermo?


Q. Is not planned?


Q. From the outside, it looks as everything is going your way. Can you explain how it feels to have everything seeming to go your way as it was tonight?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I think from the side it looks like everything is going my way. Some games I didn't feel my serve. Some games something wasn't working. It's always part of the process. But I'm really happy that from the side it looks like everything is going my way.

I don't know, I just focused on my game, focused on the things which I have to do on the court. I'm not really focusing on the score or something else. Like all my focus is in the point, in the moment. That's was working quite well so far, so yeah.

Q. It seemed like you enjoyed yourself tonight. Have you been having fun?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I'm always having fun. This is kind of my personality, so... Yes, I just enjoy my time on the court, enjoy the battle, enjoy the game. Yeah, I think this year in Madrid, something just clicked and put me on the right way. I'm just doing my best.

Hopefully in the final I'll keep going, keep playing on this level. Yeah, of course I enjoy my time on court, especially because of people there, they're supporting me. That's unbelievable because this is something which I've been missed.

Yeah, I'm really happy that it's fans here.

Q. You're smiling so much. Do you smile always like that or this is a special week, special evening? You just said you like to enjoy the life and you're happy that the crowd is around. I would like to know more.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Wow. I would say, like, life is too short to focus on the bad things. I'm just trying to stay positive and just trying to enjoy my life.

But, yeah, I was always like this. I'm always smiling, always having fun. Of course, sometimes I'm crying. Sometimes I have bad days. But, yeah, when I'm here in Madrid and I'm playing my best and I see fans watching, there is nothing to be worried about and to be sad about.

Yeah, this week I'm definitely happy person. Hopefully I just keep going like this.

Q. Is everybody in Belarus following you a lot? Do they talk more about Azarenka?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't know. I think our people support all of us kind of the same. Yeah, I wouldn't say that I am the biggest person in Belarus, no. There's Azarenka, other athletes. There is some more players. So no. Our people just supporting us.

Q. After playing back-to-back matches, how valuable will it be to be able to have tomorrow off?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I think this is good for both of us to have this one-day rest, have this extra time to recovery, prepare ourself as good as we can. I think this is really good. I'm happy we have day off tomorrow. Of course we will practice, but this is good to have these extra hours for recovery.

Q. This year was difficult because of the pandemic. Have you set any goals, like a ranking by the end of the season?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Can you repeat the question?

Q. Is there maybe like a goal or an achievement that you set out for this year?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I think everyone have the same goals, yeah. I don't know what to answer. You know the goals for, like, everyone. My goal is to physically be ready and mentally be ready, just do my best and keep improving myself and keep moving forward.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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