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May 12, 2024

Aryna Sabalenka

Roma, Italia

Press Conference

A. SABALENKA/D. Yastremska

6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Aryna, pretty good match today against a tough competitor. Your thoughts on your performance.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I'm super happy to get this win. I think I played a great tennis. Happy to get through this round.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You'd never beaten Dayana before, but a long time since you played her. Did you remember anything from those matches or it was a whole new experience?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I mean, obviously, like, I'm a better player right now. I got more stuff in my pocket to get this win against her.

Yeah, our last matches were a long time ago when I was kind of, like, on and off. I was just trying to find my way.

I was going quite confident into this match knowing that I have everything to get the win. I'm super happy to finally get the win against her.

Q. With Stuttgart, Madrid, Rome and Paris within two months of each other, how do you possibly sustain your best tennis over that period?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I mean, I think it's a nice question (smiling).

It's like slowly start. Stuttgart, it's indoors, it's a different clay, kind of like a preparation for these big tournaments. Then it's Madrid, a bit of altitude.

The conditions are so different. I'm not focusing on finding my best tennis, I'm focusing on adapt to the conditions as good as I can, just fight for every opportunity.

I think Madrid was really great couple of weeks for me. I took lots of positive stuff from there. Here in Rome, I just want to keep building the level so by the time I come to Roland Garros, I'll feel my best, in my best form.

Q. On the court you said it would be a dream to win this tournament. What is it about this tournament that would make it that for you?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I love Rome. I love the city. I feel, I don't know, so comfortable being here. I enjoy walking around. I enjoy good food, great restaurants. I enjoy the atmosphere on the stadium.

I don't know. Every time I was losing here, I was so sad. I felt like I lost on the Grand Slam because it was one of the dream tournaments for me to win. It's still one of my dream tournament.

Yeah, lots of good things about Rome. Always enjoy my time here and always want to stay here as long as I can.

Q. You started stronger today compared to your last match. Any adjustments you made?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Earlier you said?

Q. You started stronger today. How did you do that?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I mean, I had a day off. It's not like I played late match yesterday and I had to show up early afternoon today. I had a day off. I mean, it's quite easy to adjust. I had an easy day yesterday. A little practice. Of course, good dinner. Woke up a bit earlier today, was ready to go.

Q. Considering how different the conditions are compared to Madrid and Rome, how long does it take you to adapt? Do you feel adapted now or it's still something that takes time?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, it's definitely something which takes time. It's so different. Madrid is much faster because of the altitude. The ball bouncing high and fast. Here everything is way slower and you have to build the point before making the winner. In Madrid, you can just hit strong and it's going to be winner from the first shot. Here you have to build the point.

I would say that I'm feeling better after this match. I feel like another practice, another match, and I'll be fully adapted.

Q. Do you have a favorite pasta dish? Do you have a favorite gelato flavor?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Oh, pasta? I mean, it's definitely truffle pasta, like carbonara with truffle. I love it. Or a spicy red pasta with meat is also one of my favorites. I don't know, every pasta is my favorite here.

And gelato? Why do you make me want it? I'm not allowed to eat sugar during the tournament (laughter).

Stracciatella, pistachio, vanilla. I would go for all them, like a big bowl of gelatos. Dream snack (smiling).

Q. With players having bigger teams, do you actually feel it in the locker room? Does it feel like there are more people around behind the scenes?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Sorry, what was the question?

Q. Players have bigger teams.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Bigger teams?

Q. More coaches... Does it feel like there are more people in the locker room these days, just around?

ARYNA SABALENKA: In the locker room there is only players.

Q. Around, in the area.

ARYNA SABALENKA: No, I don't feel that honestly. I'm trying not to spend so much time on-site, so I don't feel that busy-ness here. But definitely you can see that it's bigger teams around.

I don't know, I like to see that. It looks professional. Everyone is pumped up for good results. I like to see that. I don't feel it that much?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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