Belarusian tennis player Aryna Sabalenka commented on reaching the semifinal of the tournament in St. Petersburg.
– Immediately after the match, you complained that you had problems with concentration. What are they connected with, in your opinion?
– Honestly, I myself do not know, because I had a plan not to drop out of the match. But for some reason today, the concentration went in waves. But I am still glad that, despite this state, I was able to win.
– In the second set with the score of 3/4 you called your coach to the court. If it’s not a secret, what did he tell you?
– In fact, he said that he had nothing to say: because when I want to play I play, and when I don’t want to, I don’t play. So I went to court and just wanted to win (laughs). It became more responsible to play every point, without falling out of the game.
– Were there any cases when, after Dmitry Tursunov’s shows, you played not better, but worse?
– I do not think that it somehow depends on the coach’s access to the court. It probably depends more on you, on whether you manage to carry out the installation of a coach or not. Dmitry usually says what I am doing wrong and what needs to be done, and then I either succeed or not. This is no longer dependent on Dmitry. Naturally, there were such cases when I called him, and then immediately lost the game, and then won again. But anything can happen. The ball is round.
– Today you met with a rival from the qualification. You were considered the clear favorite. You have recently begun to go on the court in the status of a favorite. Tell me, does this impose any responsibility?
– When you go to the court – and you have nothing to lose, you feel much more relaxed and play better than when you play in the status of a favorite – here you have to prove that it’s not for nothing that you take your place in the rating. Sometimes it does not really work to fully demonstrate all its capabilities. As you have noticed, I only recently began to go on the court in the status of a favorite match. I’m getting used to, in principle, to this pressure and better and better cope with it. Let’s not talk about today’s match (laughs).
– At the end of the meeting, you accepted the challenge from the general director of the tournament, Alexander Ivanovich Medvedev, and played with him two tie-breaks. Tell us how it went. Do you like to participate in such events, after which the funds go to charity?
– He is still at a party for the players announced that we will have played a challenge. He said that they played a challenge with Maria Sharapova, and then she immediately won the match. I then answered – they say, let’s play a challenge every day so that I can go out and win the matches. I believe that charity is very important. And I am pleased to participate in such charity events.
– None of the tennis players never told us anything about the players’ party. Share how it went, what is remembered?
– In fact, it was very cool, I did not even expect. Usually parties for players are boring. And this time it was very cool, fun and perky. And the presenter was fun, and the performances were interesting. I left before the end of the evening only because it was too late – I had to go to sleep. But even when leaving, she stopped and watched the dances and general merriment (laughs). There was a cool party!