Roland Garros

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Paris, France

Aryna Sabalenka

Press Conference


6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you just talk through, you know, how nervous were you to kind of kick off your tournament? You had to come back from the deficit in the early set. Just talk through kind of your nerves and feelings about the match and how you feel you played.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I would say it wasn't great level today from me, but I was keep trying, keep fighting, keep trying to find my game. Yeah, it was a little bit nervous game, especially on the beginning, because I felt like everything is not going well, and I don't really feel my game.

Yeah, so many mistakes. But I'm really happy in the end of the first set I kind of could find the rhythm. I won the first set, and then everything start to be a little bit better.

But it was tough match. She's really aggressive. Sometimes it was really tough to play under the pressure, under her pressure.

Yeah, I'm just really happy with this win.

Q. When you did go down a couple of breaks in that first set, you're a player that shows a lot of emotion on court, you're not afraid to show that emotion. How difficult is it to reel that in and stay calm without losing that fire and that intensity?

ARYNA SABALENKA: What the question is, like, how could I find this...

Q. How difficult do you find it to control that emotion?

ARYNA SABALENKA: Well, I have a lot of experience of these kind of matches. I mean, emotionally (smiling). That's why sometimes I scream, Come on, or Let's go, because, like, find this, I don't know, this character inside of me and that I have to keep trying and don't, how to say, waste my energy.

In some point I understand that it's too much emotions, like bad and good, so I kind of have to start thinking about what should I do to win this match? I just, how to say, put my focus in another place. It's help me to find this, can I say, calmness? Yeah.

Q. Speaking of kind of having that calmness and being able to tap into it earlier, you know, especially for top players, first round, Grand Slam, you know, if your game is not happening immediately, it's easy to begin to panic and think, Oh, what if I'm going to lose first round, upset, all these sorts of things. Do those thoughts come into your mind at all? Have they ever come into your mind? Are you just not a player where your mind works that way?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I'm not really thinking like about losing the first round while I'm playing the first round. So I kind of thinking a lot like what should I change to find my rhythm?

I wasn't like panicking today. I was kind of thinking a lot about, like, should I do this or this or that and, like, so many options (smiling). In one point I just choose one and happy that it's worked well for me.

Yeah, but usually I'm not really worrying about losing in the first round. I mean, it's tennis. Everything can happen. Everyone here for wins and everyone here for a battle. Nobody will give you this win like easily, like, Here you are, because you're high in the ranking than me, then just take it.

So of course it will be a game and it will be a fight, so that's why I'm not really worrying, like, everything can happen (smiling).

Q. You'll play either Sasnovich or Parry in the next round. If it is Aliaksandra, because she's a compatriot, can you talk about that matchup? Do you guys know each other well at all?


Q. Talk through that.

ARYNA SABALENKA: Yeah, I think we know each other quite well. We spend so many time on the Fed Cup, how to say, matches. So we kind of know each other. We played against each other, and we have been growing together. I mean, she's older than me, but still, we were in the same place, practicing, training.

Yeah, she's a great player, good girl. It's always not easy matches against her, because her game, her style is a little bit like tricky. She like to use all these dropshots, all these spin, slices, like all different variation of the shots. It's always not easy to play against her.

I'm really looking forward for this match. And if it's -- who is the other one?

Q. Diane Parry.

ARYNA SABALENKA: French girl. Yeah, I didn't see her game before, but I heard that she's great player. Anyway, it's not going to be easy even against her.

Yeah, I'm just looking forward for my next match.

Q. On Sasnovich, how would you describe her personality? What's she like as a person?

ARYNA SABALENKA: I don't know. She's funny. I don't know. She's nice, funny, and have a good personality. It's always easy to talk with her. She's really open, like, girl, so you can talk with her about whatever you want to, and this is what I like about her.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
108093-1-1063 2021-05-30 17:00:00 GMT

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