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Aryna Sabalenka - March 9, 2024
March 9, 2024

Saturday, March 9, 2024 | Aryna Sabalenka | Press Conference


6-7, 6-2, 7-6


Q. That was pretty amazing.


Q. Off the top of your head, you've played some crazy matches in your career, how does this one compare to them?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, this match was really crazy, and I really think it was super high-level match. She played incredible tennis. I kept telling myself, Stay there, fight for every point. You never know what's going to happen. Probably this is the match for crazy comeback, and I did it.

I'm super happy that I didn't give up on that score, and I was really pushing myself hard, even though I didn't play my best tennis and she was crushing it like crazy. I was just like trying to stay in the game and keep fighting for every point.

But this match definitely go into the book of craziest matches and the best matches of my career.

Q. What do you remember about the four match points? Were you just saying, Keep the ball in play? Maybe she'll get a little tight? What is your recollection of those points?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I would say on those points I kind of like -- well, first of all, somehow I put the first match point somehow I returned the crazy serve, put it back, she didn't expect that. I made a great backhand crosscourt.

Then the second one I kind of like start feeling she's getting tight and I was, like, probably this is good opportunity for me to stay in the match.

And, yeah, I think I won that game because she kind of like start thinking too much, and, I mean, good for me and I was super happy that I was able to win that game.

Q. When you twisted your ankle at very crucial points, how was that? Is it bad, and did you think about taking a medical timeout?

ARYNA SABALENKA: It was bad in first seconds, but then slowly it was getting better and I felt like, okay, I'm ready to play. But in that moment when they twisted a little bit, I thought, oh, God, what I did wrong? It's happening to me.

But I was trying, this is just the proof that I was trying so hard to get to every ball and to put every ball back. Yeah, but now I feel okay. We'll see tomorrow. But I have a great team, and I'm pretty sure they will take care of it so for the next match I will be ready.

Q. Adrenaline can really mask pain. Do you expect it's still kind of settle in exactly what you're going through as you get away from the match?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I would say I quite experienced in twisting my ankle and I know the way how to get out of that and not get injured.

And that's why I like my shoes, because I have a good control on my feet there. I think right before that, like, really crazy twist I was able to kind of let it go, and kind of, like, save myself.

So I feel like it should be okay.

Q. You did that a couple of times. I saw you sort of fall, roll out of a split. Is that the same kind of preventing injury that you were doing there?

ARYNA SABALENKA: It was good move for me to save myself, I would say.

Q. Do you practice the splits? Because there was a lot of splits. Do you work on your flexibility the way you just said you knew how to control...

ARYNA SABALENKA: (Demonstrating.) Oh, my gosh, how stupid I am.

Q. Do you work on your flexibility a lot sort of as injury prevention? Is that something you actually do?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I do a lot of stretches, and I think it definitely help me today.

Q. Peyton was having a tough time the first couple of months and she said she really wanted to start hitting the ball, be more aggressive, going for her shots. And you praised her on court. Can you talk about how well she was hitting the ball. Did it surprise you?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I was watching her matches and it's not like it surprised me. I knew what to expect. Yeah, she's hitting the ball really great. Really heavy balls. I would say the rhythm of our her ball is more like man rhythm. It's more spin. It's not going flat. It's heavy, kind of like hitting a racquet off.

So she's playing really great tennis and her forehand, it's unbelievable. Unbelievable shot. But like me, I practice a lot with my hitting partner, so I used to this kind of, like, rhythm to play against. So I'm happy I was able to put this pressure back on her.

But, yeah, she's hitting really great, great balls.

Q. What was going on with your racquets? Were you having problems with the balls, strings? I saw you sent a few back.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, the frame of my racquet kind of like fall off a little bit. How to say? Wait. It was broken a little bit, you know, like, not fixed really good. I don't speak English (laughter). The frame. It was some problems with the frame. Not a crack. Just like...

Q. Separated a bit?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yes, separated.

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