June 28, 2021
Wimbledon, London, UK
A. SABALENKA/M. Niculescu
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. After a year off, how are the courts playing? Faster? Slower? Quicker?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Did you ask about the court, the conditions, like faster or slower?
Q. Yes. Slippery?
ARYNA SABALENKA: What?
Q. How are the courts?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, it was a little bit softer because it's a new court. The grass is higher. It was a little bit softer. So after first set I got tired a little bit. The legs was getting heavier.
But the court wasn't that slower. I expected it's going to be, like, really slow, like I have to come in more often in the point. But it was fine.
Yeah, I'm happy that I found the rhythm of my game on that court from the beginning.
Q. Can you just talk through the match today. How did you feel out there on such a big occasion? How do you think you managed it and how do you think you played?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, of course in the beginning I was really nervous to open the Wimbledon and also be first playing on first court. Yeah, I was nervous a little bit because I haven't play on the stadiums at Wimbledon. But, yeah, really happy that I won that match.
Yeah, the atmosphere there was unbelievable. Yeah, I was enjoy it. Yeah, people was supporting really well. I mean, I was just, like, enjoying the atmosphere. With the game, I'm happy the first set. The second set, the legs was getting heavier. Yeah, was a little bit more mistakes.
But I'm really happy that I could finish this match with the win. Yeah, I'm happy with this result.
Q. On the clay season, you were saying you had to make a few adjustments, but mainly it was mental of just being able to play your game on clay. What about grass? Do you have to make massive adjustments on grass or none?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I would say the most important part on the grass court is to stay low and be ready for, like, the fast shots, deep and fast. Yeah, I just have to be ready to stay low. Like, my reactions should be really good out there because sometimes it's tricky with the grass.
Yeah, but the most important to stay low and be there, like, 100% because on the grass you have to, I would say, control everything because you never know what's can happen because it's really fast and it's really tricky to play.
Yeah, but I enjoy this surface, enjoy my game there.
Q. With the roof closed, was that the first time you ever played on indoor grass? How much did you enjoy that experience?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, it was first time. Yeah, I enjoy it. I'm really happy that people was out there and they were supporting me because I was really nervous. Really happy to got their support, to feel this atmosphere. Yeah, really happy to win this match.
Q. With the forecast today, was it a relief to know you were coming on at the time you were scheduled for no matter what happens?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I was really happy when I saw the schedule. Like, Yes, I'll make it. Because with the rain, like, it's still delay not before 3 or maybe not before 4 already. It takes a lot of energy. I'm really happy because I knew I'll be on the court at 1:00 and that's it. I'm happy that I could warm up.
Actually, I was kind of prepare myself that I will go out on the court without any warmup on the court because of the weather. I'm really happy I could hit a little bit. So, yeah, everything was good today.
Q. On the transition from clay to grass, how long did it take for you to get over Roland Garros and move on from that tournament and back onto the grass? Has this come too quickly, to have another slam two weeks after, or is it a good thing for you to get another shot at the apple so quickly?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I think it's good to have another slam coming, like, really quick. Well, I would say that the first two tournament I was kind of trying to find my game, trying to understand what's going on on the grass. I'm still trying to find my game on the grass. My game is a little bit better compared to the last two weeks.
Yeah, hopefully with every match I will play better and better. But for now I feel well and ready to go.
Q. You were mentioning nerves. What was most nerve-wracking about the experience today?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't know. I was nervous about the surface because I never play on the new grass, like nobody played before. I didn't really know what to expect. Like I expected it's going to be really slow and I have to work on my approach game a little bit more on the warmup because, like, it's supposed to be really slower. Yeah, just to be ready for that. This was the most nervous part.
Also I didn't want to lose this match because, like, it's opening match. There was a lot of people out there. I just wanted to enjoy my game. I didn't know what's going to happen on that court. I'm really happy from the first, I would say, points I felt really, really good on the grass, like on the new grass.
Yeah, so like with every point, I would say my nerves was go away. Yeah, like after a few games I was just really enjoying the court, the atmosphere, yeah.
Q. Was there tension for you towards the end of the match or at that point it was about Monica playing a little bit better?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I would say Monica was playing a little bit better. My legs was getting heavier so I wasn't adjust the ball that well like I was doing in the beginning of the match. It was just about, like, her game and my movement. As soon as I fixed it, I was able to win this match.
But, yeah, really happy that I could kind of find this movement and my game back.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports