Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 20, 2024

Aryna Sabalenka – R2 Press Conference – 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

2024 Women's Singles R32: D. VEKIC/A. Sabalenka 6-7, 6-3, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Hard luck today, Aryna.


THE MODERATOR: What makes Donna such a tricky opponent?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Especially on these courts, the way she played the aggressive style of the game, quite flat balls, it’s really tricky on this court to play against her.

Yeah, the conditions wasn’t really great today. She played amazing tennis. I didn’t play my best at all. So, yeah, she was quite good today.

THE MODERATOR: Who would like to start…

Q. Last year you had a similar loss to Krejcikova right after winning the Australian Open, like this year. How difficult is it to regroup right after winning a slam?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I wouldn’t say that this is difficult because of the Australian Open win. I had enough time to rest, to recharge and to start everything over again.

I feel like the conditions here doesn’t fit me well at all. It’s really tricky for me to compete here in Dubai. Really tricky court for me.

I think this is just, yeah…

Q. Huge battle in the first set, then you were up a set and a break. Did anything in particular change?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I would say that the whole match I was leading, I was winning. I won the first set. I was up with break. I mean, I didn’t feel like I was up. The level was so bad today from me. I would say that she also didn’t play her best. Like at the end she kind of step in and start playing way aggressively, way more aggressive ’cause she saw that I’m not playing my best at all.

I think that’s why she came back from that score that easy because, like, it was just like who’s more lucky, you know? The level wasn’t there at all.

Q. Historically she has been a tricky matchup for you. Why do you think that is? Do you see her as a tricky matchup for you, or your past matches against her didn’t factor in?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Not really. I mean, we played a lot. She won a lot of matches against me. But all of the matches were close. I wouldn’t say that she’s really super tricky opponent for me.

She’s tough to play. She’s a great fighter. She’s a great player. Serving well. Playing well. It’s not like because she’s really tricky to play against.

Q. You talk about how some courts are really set up well for a player, and some it’s tricky. What is it about it here? Is it the wind? Speed of the court? Can you give us a sense as to what doesn’t flow with your game?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I mean, obviously the wind. I mean, we used to play with the crazier win than here, all right? Cancun, let’s talk about that (laughter). Wind is not a problem at all. It was tricky today, but it was not a problem at all.

I would say sometimes it doesn’t feel like the ball is bouncing at all. It just like slides so fast. The lines are not perfect. I would say the court was wavy. Walking, I was kind of stepping into that little wave.

I think like, yeah, it’s super fast for me. Super fast. Like no rhythm at all.

Q. How will you spend the next few days, couple weeks, until Indian Wells? Are you playing here and training or…

ARYNA SABALENKA: I’ll stay here for couple of days, then I’m going to move to L.A. and start — not start, but keep practicing, keep fixing problems which happened today. Hopefully I’ll be in a better shape for Indian Wells.

Q. You seem to be seeing this in good perspective. You don’t seem too bummed? Is that maturity? What is it?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I’m faking it (laughter).

No, I mean, I’ve been on tour for a while. Acting like some of the players – if you know who I’m talking about – being really – I don’t know how to call it – against the opponent, being said here. I passed this stage.

I know you can win and you can lose here. It’s just a matter of how you look on all those losses, like what you take from it, what you going to learn.

I’m just, like, trying to stay positive and try to forget this interesting match. I already start thinking about the next one and about the preparation and what can we do differently. If you keep working, if you keep fighting for it, you will get it.

I’m just, like, trying to forget this match as fast as I can.

THE MODERATOR: Any more questions? Thank you.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Now I’m going to go cry (laughter).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Our Partners