September 5, 2021
New York, New York, USA
A. SABALENKA/E. Mertens
THE MODERATOR: Just give us your thoughts on the match tonight.
ELISE MERTENS: I mean, definitely difficult match. She's playing very well at the moment. So, yeah, I think first set was pretty tight, could go either way. But, yeah, she really pushed me in the second set.
I'm okay with my performance. It's not what I actually wanted, but it's still not a bad performance. Yeah, so, I'm happy that I am in the fourth round, but of course I wanted better results.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You've played Aryna quite a few times in your career. She's gotten the better of you the last few times. I'm curious why do you think that is and what improvements she's made?
ELISE MERTENS: I mean, she definitely has a powerful game. I think she's one of the few players who has such power, so that makes it very difficult to, you know, to get the rhythm, to get any advantage during the point or during the early point.
Yeah, I think when her serve is going well, it's difficult to win points, although I really fought all my heart out tonight but definitely not enough, but I wish her all the best for the next match.
Q. You are on-and-off doubles partners. Do you sense it's tougher because maybe she's knows a bit more about your game than you would like from an opponent?
ELISE MERTENS: Well, I think I'm on tour for many years now already, still young, but I think we just know each other very well, as we also know other players very well who I played against a couple times.
But doesn't make it different, doesn't make it difficult. You know, it's a tennis match. We are on the opposite of the net for like one hour, two hours or more. But, yeah, we definitely know each other well.
Q. So consistent at the majors. I think it's 15 straight you have been at least to the third round. What positives do you take from that consistency and what do you feel is still maybe missing?
ELISE MERTENS: I'm definitely really proud I'm, for the 15th time, like over the third round. Yeah, I just like to play Grand Slams, I guess. It's the biggest tournaments of the tennis world.
I really want to do well here, and of course fourth consecutive time in the fourth round, that's not a bad result, but of course you want more. I'm definitely going to work on some things.
If you want to get the title, if you want to play in the quarter or semifinal, you have to beat those big players. Of course Aryna is having a great year. I mean, play her in the first round, not ideal, but I wish her the best of luck (smiling).
Q. A tough one today, but good luck in the doubles.
ELISE MERTENS: Thank you.
Q. You know Aryna very well. I just wanted to ask, she's reaching that breakthrough point with the Wimbledon semifinal and a quarterfinal here. Do you think for her it's been more mental? And also, do you think she's a bit underrated in terms of her touch and movement and the other areas of her game that are also quite good?
ELISE MERTENS: I mean, I think she's becoming an overall player, definitely a lot of power. When her serve is working, when her third stroke is working, it's very difficult to beat her. So she's playing more consistent in the Grand Slams, especially this year.
Yeah, I think she is a very good contender and also the chance to win the title maybe.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports