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June 30, 2021

Aryna Sabalenka

Wimbledon, London, UK

Press Conference


4-6, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are you most proud of from what you were able to do today?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I'm proud that I actually could get through this match because I was really emotional in the beginning and I didn't really feel the surface out there. She was playing really great. Of course, crowd was support her more.

I felt like everything was against me, and I'm really happy that I could, like, separate myself from the people and everything, and just think about my game, what I have to do.

So, yeah, really proud that I could, like, stay focused and keep fighting for every opportunity I had.

Q. I think I'm right in saying that's your first time playing on Centre Court. You talked about the nerves of opening the tournament on No. 1 on Monday. Tell me about the nerves of playing on Centre. How did you find the whole experience?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, yeah, I was really nervous because I knew there's a lot of people there supporting her. It's Centre Court. I haven't play on the Centre Court yet. Like I didn't know what to expect.

Yeah, when I step in, the first points, I was kind of like, Whoa, what's going on? Where the ball is? What should I do? I didn't really know what to do in that moment.

Yeah, I was really nervous. I'm really happy that I could - how to say - deal with all pressure and all emotions, yeah, and get through this unbelievable crazy match.

Of course, she play really well. I gave her opportunity, she took it, and she was playing on the high level. Yeah, it was a tough match.

Q. You mentioned she played really well. You're someone we like watching because you really hit the ball hard. She does, too. Do you enjoy being in those ding-dong battles where someone decides they want to take you on with power?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yes, this is what we're here for, for great battles, like challenges, to challenge ourselves. This match is actually matches which help us to become better player.

Yeah, of course I enjoy it. I enjoy this atmosphere, everything what I was trying to deal with. I enjoy it. I think because of that I won this match because it was a pressure, but it was pressure which I really liked. Yeah, happy that I could win this match.

Q. Does it feel any different to you being the No. 2 seed at Wimbledon?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, of course it's another pressure. I don't know. I had a lot of experience how to deal with the pressure. It's tough, but I think I can deal with all this pressure.

Like, I don't want to say I'm trying to don't think about that because anyway you're thinking about that. You just have to, okay, accept it and just move on and do your best. Every time you step in on the court, show why you're there, and just show your level. That's what I'm trying to do, yeah.

Q. What are your thoughts about what benefits a player most from your perspective as a young player, youth or experience?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I think experience.

Q. How so?

ARYNA SABALENKA: What was the question?

Q. How so? In what ways is experience more beneficial than youth when you think of what players now at older ages are accomplishing?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I don't know. Because for young players, everything is something new. In some situation, they kind of don't really know what to do. They just trying to trust themselves just to see what's happen.

When you have the experience, you kind of already -- you were in these situations, you must try different things. After a few years you kind of know what to do in some situations. This is kind of you can trust this. You can do it, like, with more belief. That's why I think the more experience you have, this is like a great benefit. So, yeah, that's why I think.

But it's can be different way. Sometimes the new player, the young player, nobody really know them, they're just like hitting the balls, don't have any pressure, like everything is going in. Sometimes it can be like, you know...

For now, for me, I feel like benefit being the experienced player. I'm trying to sound good (laughter).

Q. We've talked a lot about the grass on Centre Court the last couple days. It was better with the roof open today, the sun is out briefly, vaguely. How did you find the surface? Slippery at all? Were you aware going in -- you would have seen what happened to Serena. Were you a little bit cautious of it?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I saw yesterday like two matches and two injured players. I would say if you try to stay lower, then it's not that slippery. When you try to like kind of be lower, I don't know, like softer, then it's not really slippery.

If you stay like really high, then it's getting a little bit more slippery. You're not moving well, you're not stepping right. It can be slippery. It was slippery few times today. Few times I almost fall down, but it's okay, was fine.

Yeah, I was thinking about that. I was hoping, Hopefully I'm not going to be the player that's injured again. Like, yeah, so... But surface is, like, a little bit slower than other courts, of course. Yeah, if you stay high, then it's slippery. If you try to stay slower and move softer, then it's fine.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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