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January 8, 2023

Aryna Sabalenka

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Press Conference


6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Aryna, congratulations on title number 11. How did you feel on court today and give us your overall thoughts on the tournament.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I'm super happy with another title. It was great week. I enjoyed every moment here in Adelaide. So just super happy with my performance this week.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We've asked you already about it this week, but we'll ask again. The serving yips last year and we fast forward to today, your serve seemed to be a massive reason you won today, what was that like for you?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, as I said, it's a little bit easier to play when you serving better. Yeah, I think my serve helped me a lot, today especially. I think I didn't give her much opportunities on my serve. I was able to put her under pressure on her serve. So I think that's why I won today.

So you're right, I think serve helped me a lot.

Q. Have you had a chance this week where you've thought about last year? You were visibly crying on court. You were frustrated...

ARYNA SABALENKA: Especially the question from the referee. This thing kill me last year.

But maybe, like, I didn't have that flashback feeling. Maybe on the beginning, like in the first match, I felt like on the first second serve I thought, like, Let's see how it's going to be this year (smiling).

I think I served it in.

I was like, Okay, it's not going to happen again.

I felt so much relief after that.

Q. The big goal is the Australian Open now obviously. Do you feel ready to contend for that title?

ARYNA SABALENKA: As I said, you never know. I just feel that I'm ready to show my best and I ready for big fight. That's everything what I feel right now.

Q. You spoke through the week about it wasn't about confidence or belief so much, you're calm with what comes next. But your form, going through straight sets here, moving ahead to Melbourne, are you ready to take that challenge to move beyond the fourth round and win?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I mean, I felt like I'm ready. Again, you never know what's going to happen. I just want to control what I can control and just do my best.

Hopefully I can get through this first round (smiling).

Q. First title since Madrid 2021.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, long time. I almost forgot how it feels to having the title.

Q. Did it feel like that long ago that you lifted a trophy?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Not really because last year I played some finals. I had some opportunities to win. I don't feel that way.

But time goes so quick. Oh, my God. Yeah, super happy to keep winning the titles (laughter). For the moment, I thought like, Okay, Madrid was the last one, I guess, after a couple of finals I lost.

But happy having this baby (smiling).

Q. Last year you hired a biomechanical expert to help with the serve, Philippoussis was helping. Did you continue that level of let's fix this during the pre-season or just stop focusing on it? How much work did you put into the serve or did you just back off?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Not really. I think I fixed it last year before Cincinnati and US Open. This pre-season, we worked like every day after the practice serving for like 20 minutes. No, I'm not trying to live this problem.

I was keep working and keep trying new things, keep trying to improve my serve. I think I'll keep working that way because I don't want this shit happen again (laughter). Oh, my God, it was the worst feeling. Don't even want to think about that feeling.

Q. Looking ahead towards Melbourne, how open or closed do you feel is the Australian Open this year? Is Iga the prohibitive favorite? Is there a small group of you? Anybody across the board?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Oh, my God. What a question.

I think all of us know that it's WTA tennis: you never know what's going to happen. I wish we could - what the word - predict something, but unfortunately this is not how it works.

Q. Back to the Madrid 2021 title. How are you different as a player, your outlook, compared to Aryna Sabalenka after this title?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I think I'm a different player right now. I don't know what to say. I think I'm just different. I'm older. Maybe a little bit smarter, little bit calmer on court. Just a little bit of everything changed.

Q. More mental? Technical?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Mental and technical, everything.

Q. All of the above?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Everything, yes.

Q. You talked about before the season wanting to just focus on the tennis and the process, not the points and the ranking. How do you feel you've gone about that goal?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, same. I mean, I don't want to think about points. I had a lot of experience, like, thinking about that, then losing every tournament in the first round because I'm thinking, Oh, my God, I have to win that, this, this, then at the end of the season I don't have to worry about the points...

Right now I'm just trying to focus on myself, on my tennis, trying to improve myself every day. Yeah, that's basically it.

Q. It worked this week.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, it worked. Hopefully I'm on the right way.

Q. What were your thoughts on Noskova today?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, as I said on the court, this young lady going to play a lot of finals and she's going to be a top player. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a lot more finals for her, and hopefully for us.

So, yeah, she's playing really great tennis.

Q. You've played a lot of the teenagers. What about Noskova's game impressed you?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I mean, you can feel that she don't really afraid of us. She just play her game. No matter what, she just play her game.

I didn't feel today that she's getting tight and she's going to give me easy points. I felt like I have to win this match. Yeah, that's impressed me a lot.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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