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September 7, 2021

Aryna Sabalenka

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference

A. SABALENKA/B. Krejcikova

6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Would you please give us your thoughts on the match.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, it's was a tough one because a lot of things didn't work today well for me but I'm really happy that, again, I could found the way to win this one.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I saw you went out to practice for a few minutes after the match. Anything specifically you wanted to work on?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I think my team wasn't happy with the level today.

No, but for real, I feel like I didn't move well today and I needed extra balls kind of a little bit to move, a little bit to feel my legs, to feel the move, to feel the court. Also my serve was really I wouldn't say terrible but was really bad today. I was trying to find the rhythm.

So, yeah, I needed these extra balls today.

Q. A few months ago this would have been a huge deal to make it into another Grand Slam semifinal. To have the feelings of you could have done so much better, what does that say about where you are right now?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Where I am? I'm in the semifinal of US Open, this I know (laughter).

Yeah, second semifinal, and hopefully I can keep it up. That's amazing. I'm really proud of myself and I'm really proud of my team that they always working, they always trying to find things where I can improve. This is what I am mostly proud of.

So, yeah, I'm here in the semifinal and I have another chance to show my best and to show my level on the court.

Q. What do you think about your semifinal match coming up against Leylah? What will the key to that match be?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I was following her games. Yeah, she's playing well, moving well. I would say it's nothing to lose for her. She's a great player. She's fighting for every point. The crowd are there and they are supporting her really loud.

I was practicing today, and we didn't really need to watch the score because we heard, like, the crowd really yelling.

It will be interesting one. Really looking forward for this match.

Q. Does the Wimbledon semifinal change your mentality coming into another major, knowing you can get this far?

ARYNA SABALENKA: The only thing it's changed that I'm not really thinking about the draw, like how far can I go. I just start enjoying every match. It sounds simple, but with all the things going around, it's not easy to focus on each match, to enjoy it, to enjoy every fight, every challenge.

This is everything I changed, I would say. My focus is like step by step. It's working well.

Q. When you're going into a match against someone you haven't played against before, does it help you to compare them to another player or how they might be similar to somebody you have played?

ARYNA SABALENKA: You're talking about Fernandez?

Q. Well, in this case. I guess I just meant in general.

ARYNA SABALENKA: I would say they're all different. Like, of course, some players have maybe the same problems. I don't really try to compare all players to someone else because we all different. I'm just trying to watch their matches.

We speak a lot with the coach, like what should I do against someone. For example, the next match against Fernandez, we're going to talk what should I do to win her. This is where is my focus.

It's not working like that, you compare. She's playing like her so you have to do the same things. No, it's not working like this because everyone is different.

Q. What is the importance of your coach and your team on your success for the last months? Your coach was your sparring partner before. Since when did you know each other?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I didn't hear the last part.

Q. Since when do you know each other? He was your sparring partner before.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, he was my sparring partner before. I worked with Tursunov. For me, it's really tough to start working with someone else, with a new person. I'm like I need someone whom I can trust, with whom I can be honest, open all my thinking and all my problems.

He was my sparring partner. He's really smart guy. I knew that. I saw that he knew tennis quite well, he know what he's doing.

I stopped working with Tursunov. I tried for few weeks working with someone else. As I said, really tough for me to kind of bring the new person in my life, to be honest, to trust someone. It was just for few weeks.

Then I just asked Anton my coach. He was the ex-hitting partner. I asked him about coaching. Of course, he was open for it. He was ready. I'm really happy that I made this decision because I feel like it was right.

Q. Do you feel like you've gotten better at problem solving or do you feel like maybe you've gotten better at not getting as panicked as the past?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I mean, when something is not working well, what I actually improved in, I'm trying to find something else to win the game. This is also a huge improve I did. I'm really happy that I'm not really focusing on the problem. During the match I'm not really focusing on the problem. I'm focusing on what should I do to win this match. I'm not really panicking or, like, stressing about it. I'm just, like, trying to stay smart and professional.

I think this is what help me today to win this match.

Q. What did you see from Barbora?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, of course maybe she was a little bit more tired because she had, like, really tough match against Muguruza. Something happened there in the end of the second set I heard. Of course, maybe that's why she also -- I felt like she didn't play her best.

Yeah, maybe I was just lucky that she had a really tough one against Muguruza.

Q. How did it feel to move over to Ashe after your first four matches were on Armstrong and Grandstand?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Last year we practiced a lot on Ashe. I really love this court. It was a little bit different because it's, like, bigger stadium, it's much more people. But maybe the first five, 10 minutes was a little bit weird and I didn't feel well there. As long as I was playing there, I start feeling much better and I enjoy every second.

Yeah, that's was amazing atmosphere out there. Yeah, was enjoy it.

Q. Facing Leylah, do you feel the need to hit with a lefty?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I didn't play a lot against lefties, but I practiced a lot with a lefty hitting partners. We'll see (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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