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January 22, 2022

Aryna Sabalenka

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

A. SABALENKA/M. Vondrousova

4-6, 6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Why don't you just talk us through the match and how you felt out there.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, was tough match and she start really well. I'm just really happy that I could win this match. It was tough one.


Q. You were joking in your interview on court about only hitting 10 double faults today. How have you been able to sort of have kind of a good attitude about this?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I'm just trying to stay positive, and it's working.

I don't know. I don't know. I just trying to don't really focus on my serve. Just trying to forget about my serve, and that's was working today. I wasn't like really thinking a lot about my serve. Maybe because the last matches I was able to break a lot of games. It's give me a little confidence on the returning games. I wasn't like really worried about my service game, and that's why maybe I serve better today.

Q. You came back after the first set. Are you proud of the way that you came back after the first set?

ARYNA SABALENKA: If I'm proud of myself?

Q. After you lost the first set, you came back. You must be proud of that.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, of course I'm proud of myself that I was able, after the first set, came back. It was really tough. I was really tight in the first set. Conditions was really tough today. I'm really happy that, yeah, that I pushed myself so hard and, yeah, and I came back.

Q. When you have a problem with your serve like this, what does working on it look like? Is it more mental in your training?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I think it's more mental, because I put a lot of pressure on myself about my serve, and the last matches I was trying to control everything on my serve; my legs, my arm, the ball toss. And it was overthinking.

Yeah, and I just stopped thinking. Like today, for example, I was focusing only on the good jump and that's it. Because I have this muscle memory, and I just trust myself today, much more than in the first matches.

Q. Alize Cornet is going for a record of most Grand Slams played in a row. She's at 60 and can get the record at the US Open this year. What do you think it takes to be that sort of consistent player to have that many years not missing a Grand Slam?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I think she's the big fighter. Every match she's putting everything she have. I think you just have to believe in yourself and to fight for everything no matter what. She's doing it like on each match. I think that's why.

Q. You won all your matches this week from a set down, which is something you have not done that often in Grand Slams before. How are you managing to do that this week? What's changed? Do you feel any different on court?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't know. Feels like I'm warming up in the first set and then I start playing (smiling).

I don't know. I really want to win it in two sets, and I think that's why I'm getting, like, so much emotional on the first set, and that's why I'm like overtrying and I'm missing a lot. And after the first set when you're losing, you're kind of, Okay, maybe I don't have to, like, overhit it or to panic, like, earlier. So maybe that's why.

Q. What's it like having the cameras following you this week?

ARYNA SABALENKA: It's amazing (smiling). I don't know. I like it. I want people to see something like behind all this.


ARYNA SABALENKA: Yes. I want people to get to know me much better and what it's like to be a tennis player and to have all this mental problems or to be under the pressure or -- and also just to see the real me (smiling).

Q. Have you been able to change anything about your tournament here, or are you able to sort of be the same?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I'm just the same, yeah.

Q. I know there has been a lot of talk about your serve, but the rest of your game, certainly in the second and third set today, seemed really good. How are you managing to sort of compartmentalize and not worry about your serve and focus on the rest of your game, which is in good shape?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, like, even in the first matches of the season I felt like, yeah, my game is there, I can play, and the only problem I had, it was my serve. So I don't know. Maybe knowing that my game is there and I just have to fix one problem, give me this confidence. And, yeah, that's why I think I was able to kind of serve, to win all those matches and to serve better today.

Q. Does it almost simplify things just having a serve as an issue and then the rest of the game takes care of itself?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Sorry, what was the question?

Q. Does it almost simplify it, just knowing that the serve is the problem and everything else sort of takes care of itself?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I think so. It's good to know that you have the only one problem. It's easier to fix than, like, to fix your game.

Q. Your next opponent is Kaia Kanepi. What are your thoughts about her? Have you seen her playing recently? What do you remember about last year's match in Gippsland Trophy?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, she's a great player. It was tough match. She's serving well. Hit pretty hard. And, yeah, it's really interesting to play against her. I'm really looking forward for this match.

Q. Do you remember anything from last year's match in Melbourne? What can you do better this time?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't really remember that match, but I remember it was a lot of winners and a lot of unforced errors. Yeah, I think I need to try to start from the beginning and don't give her so much like opportunities, so I just have to be focused from the beginning. Yeah, that's it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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