September 9, 2021
New York, New York, USA
L. FERNANDEZ/A. Sabalenka
7-6, 4-6, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: If you could, just your thoughts on the match.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, as always I had a lot of opportunities and I didn't use it. Yeah, in a couple of I would say key moment my serve didn't work well. Yeah, I'm really disappointed with that.
But it is how it is. She play well. I think it was a great match. She deserve this win.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Do you have any thoughts on the atmosphere out there? A lot of support for Leylah.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, my head right now is about to... I don't know what's going to happen.
Yeah, it was amazing atmosphere. I expect that they will support her more than me, so I expect this. But it was really loud. Few times I was trying to ask to them for support (smiling). Yeah, whatever.
Anyway, was a great atmosphere. I was really happy to be there. I enjoyed every second on the court.
Q. How did you feel about the first set tiebreaker? There were a few shots that you normally would make.
ARYNA SABALENKA: This is what we call pressure. That's why I'm a little bit disappointed about this match because, as I said, I had a lot of opportunities and I didn't use it.
Well, this is life. If you're not using your opportunities, someone else will use it. This is what happened today.
I will try to improve it. I will keep working and fighting, and I believe that one day it will come.
Q. You got off to such a great start the first three games. What did she do to turn the match around after that?
ARYNA SABALENKA: As I said, I would say that in that set she didn't do anything. I was just, like, sometimes overhitting, sometimes I didn't move well. As I said, on the key moment, I was up 4-2 serving, and I think I made double-faults. My first-serve percentage wasn't really good.
I wouldn't say that she did something. I would say that I destroy myself (smiling).
Q. Given what she's accomplished, coming out of nowhere, what has been most impressive to you?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I would say that she's -- I don't know. Seems like in these two weeks, everything working well for her. Like this is nothing to lose. People are here supporting her like she's kind of on the top of the situation. She's staying, like, on the baseline, hitting I would say sometimes crazy shots and everything is going in. I would say, like, everything is going her way, yeah.
But she's really aggressive and she's staying on the baseline, hitting the ball, taking the ball pretty early, making you move so you would be always out of the position. Today I couldn't make her move as I wanted, yeah.
Q. How much do you sense as well as she's played that this is a level she can maintain week in and week out?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, now there is no pressure on her at all. Crowd are here for her. You kind of feeling this crush and you're using it, hitting the ball, don't really thinking, everything is going in. This is nice kind of feeling. I felt it before. This is cool.
But the question is when you will start to understand what's going on and where you are, how good can you deal with all these expectations and all this level, all this pressure.
For now she's playing well. It was tight match. I was doing everything. I can say that I gave it all today. Of course I could do better. Of course, I had a lot of opportunities. But it is how it is. I have to learn from this and move on.
But yeah, now she's like top-10 player. We'll see how good she will be in the future.
Q. As one of the top players in the world, what do you think of two teenagers here unseeded in the semifinals? Is this a surprise to you and the top women on the tour or it's circumstances here?
ARYNA SABALENKA: It's always happen. It's always new people coming. Young generation are working hard, doing their best, using everything they have, doing everything they have. It's kind of normal, I would say. We all been on that position. This is life.
Q. You said you felt you'll learn from this. What will you learn?
ARYNA SABALENKA: From this match?
Q. From this match.
ARYNA SABALENKA: I'll still need some time to think about this.
The simple things that if you have opportunity, just go for it, don't overthink. This is easy to say. When you're on the court, you starting thinking a lot.
As far you go in the draw, more expectation you have. This is something that actually I'm struggling with because in the beginning of the tournament I was out of the shape honestly. I wasn't playing well on the tournament before. I wasn't playing well on the practice. I was, like, getting crazy on the practice.
Going into the first match, I didn't have any expectations. I was playing simple because when you're, like, not in the best shape and you're trying to make it close to the lines, it's not working. You play simple with more targets.
Maybe today I should do the same and see what happen. This was my mistakes. Because of the expectations and all this pressure and everything, I was trying to maybe make her move, I was going for closer to the lines. The mistakes was like this sometimes in important moments. Maybe sometimes I have to go back and start from the simple game, then if I feel I can go for bigger shots...
Yeah, this is what I have to learn from this match I would say.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports