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July 8, 2021

Aryna Sabalenka

Wimbledon, London, UK

Press Conference

KA. PLISKOVA/A. Sabalenka

5-7, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you just talk about the match first of all. What was the challenge today against Karolina? Where did you see your chances and where did you see them kind of get wiped out?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I think her serves was a big challenge for me today. I felt like I had opportunities in the second set when she was -- I don't remember exactly game, maybe second or third when she was serving and she didn't make first serve for four points. I didn't return her second serves.

Yeah, I think there was some chances. After that she just returned like crazy, like really good, and I couldn't do anything. I mean, I feel like in that games, in the second set, when she broke me, and in the third set, I think in that games I did everything I could. Overall I did everything I could today, but she just played, like, really good, I mean, too good. I did my best.

It's tough. It's tough loss.

Q. You fired 18 aces today. Can you talk about just what she was doing in the rallies to neutralize your power?

ARYNA SABALENKA: She was playing, I would say, really flat and low and good cross-courts. Like she put me under pressure. On the cross-courts she was just better than I was. I was trying to maybe play more through the middle to take these shots off from her.

Yeah, she was moving much better today, hitting really solid shots. It was not easy even in the rallies against her.

Q. Is there anything, as you think about that match, you wish maybe you had done differently or tried differently, or are you pleased with what you did and it didn't work out in the end for you?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I think maybe in previous matches I was little bit more free on the returning games. I was kind of, like, going for the shots. In this one, because I understand how important some points, I was just, like, trying to put the ball back, just try to stay in the rallies, put her under pressure on her serves.

I think this was the biggest mistake today. I should just stay aggressive on that game, on returning games. I don't know, just serve well, try to return aggressively, and see what happen in the tiebreak -- I think in the tiebreak. Just try to stay there till a tiebreak, yeah.

Q. Did you have a challenge just before Pliskova reached to her two match points, that was a very close call. Did you think about challenging or what happened there?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't remember that point, like what was there. Which call are you talking about?

Q. Very last part of the game. It was 40-15. You hesitated, thought about challenging, but didn't in the end.

ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't know. I was pretty sure that the call was right, so I don't know. Maybe they show on the TV the challenge and it was out or what. I don't know.

That point, I was pretty sure that the call was right, so I don't know.

Q. Can you sum up maybe the key word of this loss is maybe 'experience'? What sort of things you take out of you in your bag for the future?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, of course I think it was first time I was in the semis. It's first experience for me. For her, she was in a final or she won the Wimbledon. I think she was in the final, right?

Yeah, she's older than me. She have more experience. I think maybe if I would in another - how to say? If I was in another finals or semifinals so I had this kind of experience, maybe I would do better. I don't know. Maybe in the next time in the semis, maybe against her, on her service game, I'll be a little bit more aggressively. I don't know.

It's tough to say after the match because after the match you feel like, I can do this differently, this, that. Maybe in the next time I will do differently.

I don't know. Maybe because she have more experience, she kind of knew what she's doing. She just beat me.

I don't know. Tough to say.

Q. For you, looking forward, what do you think is going to be the biggest, most important thing for you? Is it more the game side, the shot-making and choices, or more mentality and mental strength is going to be the difference in winning a Grand Slam for you in the future?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I will speak with my team and see what else should I working on to make it till the end.

But I think it's more about -- I mean, I have a game to win it. It's just about I think mental side of the sport. Maybe, yeah, next times in the semis or whatever, semis, quarters or final, I'll be a little bit more aggressive and just trust my game, just go for it.

Honestly, it's nothing to lose. Today I felt like there is something to lose. Maybe sometimes I was, like, a little tight and a little over-trying it. So, yeah.

Q. I just wondered if you could throw your mind forward to this final. What do you think will happen? You've played them both. How do you think their games will shape up?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't know. It's tough to say. Everything can happen. But I think Barty have good chance to win a Grand Slam.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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