September 5, 2022
New York, New York, USA
A. SABALENKA/D. Collins
3-6, 6-3, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Three sets, 2 hours 29. Give us your assessment of your performance.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, yeah, was super tough game. She play really well. Somehow I came back in the second set. I was like keep trying, keep pushing myself to keep trying and keep fighting. I think I did well.
I'm just super happy with the win, first of all, and with the level today. Yeah, was really tough match.
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. With a result like this, how does this affect how you look at your season?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I definitely had really, really tough season. But at the same time I'm really appreciate this season because it show me even if something is not working for me, I'll be able to fight no matter what.
It just shows me, like, how good as a competitor I am. Yeah, it was tough. I was just keep working, keep trying, keep pushing myself. Here I am, still here at the US Open, still fighting for my dream. We'll see.
Q. First time on Ashe since the semifinals. What did you learn from that experience?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I had my team and my friends watching me tonight. It was more than enough today. I was just, like, trying to separate myself from the stadium, just try to think about what I have to do. It works.
Q. You talked about there have been challenges this season. When you look back at it, what have those challenges been? What have you been forced to overcome?
ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, it was super tough to play without the serve. A lot of other stuff was going on in the world, a lot of pressure was on me. I was almost about to stop playing for a little while on the beginning of the season, but I was keep trying, keep pushing because I felt like there is always the reason for something like we are struggling with in this life. There is always the reason we will just understand a little bit better. I just keep thinking this way, keep working, keep fighting. Who knows.
Q. How important was the 4-3 game in the middle of the second set? How much did things change for you after that game?
ARYNA SABALENKA: It was really important game. I would say it was the key game. I hold my serve. After that I felt like, Okay, if I hold my serve right now, I still have chances in this match. I think this kind of mentality helped me to break her in the second game, then win the set. It's, like, 1-All and there is a different situation, not that much pressure.
I would say in the third set pressure was more on her than on me. Yeah, but it was definitely the key game. That game gave me much more belief that I can win this match.
Q. (Question about serve and return for upcoming match.)
ARYNA SABALENKA: Every day I'm serving better and better. Hopefully it can just keep going that way.
Of course against Pliskova it's super important to serve well. I'll just try my best. Every time I have opportunity, I'll try to use it, try to make her work for it.
Q. Given what happened in the second round with Kanepi, do you feel freer at this tournament knowing you were a point away from your tournament ending in the second round? Does that impact your mentality? Do you feel lighter or is it the same?
ARYNA SABALENKA: I felt like that match, of course it's gave me a lot of confidence, it's gave me a lot of belief and also relief. At the same time I feel like I have second chance on this tournament. I'm still here, I'm still competing.
Right now I'm really enjoying every second on the court. I'm really enjoying fighting. Yeah, that was interesting, interesting match. But that match gave me a lot more confidence.
Q. Looking ahead to Karolina, you played twice last year.
ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah.
Q. In terms of getting ready for that match, what was the difference because the last two matches were really, really right?
ARYNA SABALENKA: To be honest, on that matches, because the first matches I won against her, I was like upcoming player, I was lower in the ranking. I was respecting every top player. I was kind of expecting great level from them.
Then, like, last year two matches, I was in the top. I was, like, every time she was making me move, every time she was making winners, I was like, What's going on? How is it possible? Oh, my God, she is making winners.
I want to say that, but I wasn't kind of really respect her. Right now I really expect great level from her. It's going to be tough. It's tough fight. Every time she will make some winners, it's not going to pissing me off, it's going to be like, Okay, it's normal, she's making it, what next?
I think that's why last two matches I lost her.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports