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Australian Open: "I'm really a good player", savors Sabalenka


Aryna Sabalenka won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open on Saturday, the result of a lot of work, particularly psychological work, to gain confidence: "I'm really a good player," she says now.

How do you feel

after this victory?

To discover


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It is difficult to explain.

I'm just super happy.

Very happy, proud.

It's the most beautiful day of my life.

Can you describe your state of mind in the last play of the match, especially when you started with a double fault, like on the first point of the game?

After the first double fault on the first point of the match, I said to myself + well, well it's a good start, we're going to have fun + (laughs).

As for the last game, of course I was a little nervous.

I kept repeating to myself + no one ever told you it would be easy, you have to fight until the last point +.

Yes, it was a complicated game, so I'm super happy to have been able to manage all these emotions and win.

I even think I needed hard-to-swallow defeats to better understand myself.

Aryna Sabalenka

Is the victory more beautiful because it was not easy?

Yes, it is only more pleasant.

I even think I needed hard-to-swallow defeats to better understand myself.

Thanks to these defeats, I am a different player, another Aryna.

And tonight is my best game.

She played amazing tennis.

I fought so hard to win... Yes, I'm very happy that the match was not easy.

I really enjoyed this battle.

Did you almost separate from your coach Anton Dubrov?

I think it was after Dubai (beaten in the second round last February, editor's note).

He just told me that he didn't know what to do and that he thought I needed to find someone else to help me.

But me, I knew that it was not in question, that it came from me, that I had to find the solution.

So I'm very happy that we're still working together.

We have been through so much together.

Victory is only sweeter as a team.

I believed in myself a lot, believed that my game would allow me to have a chance of winning this tournament.

Aryna Sabalenka

What did you learn from your defeat in the semi-finals at the US Open in September?

That I had to stay calm on the court, that I shouldn't rush things.

That I had to play my game, stay calm and believe in myself.

And during these two weeks in Melbourne, I was really very calm on the court, I believed in myself a lot, believed that my game would allow me to have a chance of winning this tournament.

How did you control your emotions?

I always had this funny feeling that when I was asked for autographs, I was not legitimate, I was nobody, a simple player.

And I changed that mindset.

Now I respect myself more.

I'm starting to understand that if I'm here it's because I work very hard and I'm a really good player.

And just by being aware that I am a good player, I can manage my emotions and a lot of things on the court.

Whenever it was difficult on the court, I told myself that I was good enough to manage.

Belarusian flags were banned, did that change anything?

Everyone knows that I am Belarusian.

How will you celebrate this title?

I'm going to eat a good pizza, of course, and eat lots of candy!

Maybe I'll drink some champagne too.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-01-28

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