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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITA├║


March 30, 2024


Elena Rybakina


Miami, Florida, USA

Press Conference


D. COLLINS/E. Rybakina

7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Elena, a tough match out there today. Maybe talk us through what you're most proud of this fortnight here in Miami.

ELENA RYBAKINA: Yeah, very tough match, but as I said, we were not expecting for me to be in the final with all the circumstances and that I didn't play so much before the tournament.

So overall I think it's a positive week, and yeah, it was a lot of good matches. I'm happy with that.

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. How hard is it to play in a stadium like that when someone who is from this state and is a local like this and there is lots of noise? Was that a challenge for you today?

ELENA RYBAKINA: I mean, I was expecting of course that the crowd is going to be more on Danielle's side, but I think they were supportive also towards me, especially when it was some tough moments and I was kind of coming back.

So I think it was still nice atmosphere, and I was not really focusing how much they were cheering for her or not. It was just good to play in front of them.

Q. Speaking of that, those moments, what do you think about the chances that you had throughout this match in both sets?

ELENA RYBAKINA: Yeah, I had a lot of actually chances. As I was saying before, sometimes luck on your side; sometimes not, because with all the chances I had, not to break once, I think it's a bit of luck also there.

But yeah, I was still trying to fight every point. I was still there, but yeah, as I said, it was too many chances which I didn't take. So obviously it was difficult to come back after.

Q. You had, like, four of your five games go to three sets this week. As you said, you didn't have the preparation you would normally want to have. Did that come into it a little bit physically? Did you feel it or were you 100% today physically?

ELENA RYBAKINA: No, of course after I think match with Maria, it was already difficult physically. I was feeling the body, of course. And also, it was not easy tournament, because first matches I was playing quite late, finishing, and then I was going to sleep around 2:00, 3:00. Then some matches were during the day. So the schedule was also up and down, and recovery, it doesn't help, for sure.

I mean, as I said, it was a lot of tough matches. Some of them went my way with a bit of luck here and there. This one didn't, and of course I was not expecting to be fresh in this final, and she played really well, so...

Q. Which one was more disappointing: Last year's final or this one, do you feel more disappointed about?

ELENA RYBAKINA: I think it's different, but it's just completely different situation. Last year I was coming from Indian Wells, and I knew to make Sunshine Double, everybody says it's very difficult and with difficult conditions, big change from Indian Wells coming to Miami, so I was there also focusing match by match.

Here I was happy with two good matches, and then again I came to the final. So pretty much I wouldn't say disappointing. I think last year and this year, it's good result. Of course it's not easy to lose in the final, but in the end, in the long run, I think it's still a great achievement.

Q. What makes Danielle so tough? Was there something not working for you? Seemed like you hit a lot of shots long in some key points.

ELENA RYBAKINA: Well, we played before a couple of times, and it was always tough matches. She's playing very aggressive. I think just these first few shots of the point, you need to be very reactive.

Of course physically I was not at my best so I couldn't push myself. Maybe I should have maybe just risked a little bit more when I had these breakpoints, but again, the conditions are tough. The ball, especially if it's not new, is not going that well. Also the percentage of my first serve was not the best today.

So overall, I think it was just tough to compete against someone who is playing so well these two weeks. I think physically she was much fresher than me.

Q. Did she do anything different this match than the last three times you played her? Did she do anything different this time than she did the last three times you played in the last two years?

ELENA RYBAKINA: I won't say that it was a big change of tactics. I think it was pretty much the same.

But again, it's just different courts, different balls, different conditions. So again, I had my chances which I just didn't take. In the previous matches, I took them. So that's the difference.

Q. It's the end of the first three months of the year. You have had a lot of ups and downs. You've had a lot of matches before the Australian Open, disappointment there, a couple of retirements, and then a very long run here in Miami. Before going to clay, how do you evaluate the first three months of your season?

ELENA RYBAKINA: I think it was successful three months. Not easy, for sure, with some illness in between. Yeah, I think in the end it's successful, a lot of matches I played, a lot of wins. So can't complain. Looking forward for clay.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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