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“I will definitely drink today.” Sobolenko: about the battle with himself and the defeat in the US Open final

Date: September 30, 2023 Time: 03:33:46

Aryna Sabalenka, in a press conference after the 2023 US Open final, highlighted the difficulties of fighting with herself and unforced errors in key moments as the main reason for her defeat against Cori Gauff. The Belarusian tennis player also said that she was definitely going to have a drink after this so as not to get too angry, and she noted that she not only wanted to become the world’s first racket player, but also finish the year with this title.

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Sabalenka lost the US Open final. And 19-year-old Gauff became a first-time TBS champion.

“The good news is me against myself. Bad, there are still problems with this”

– This is not the result you wanted, but you had an excellent tournament and you will leave it as the first racket in the world. – Thank you. Yes, there are positive aspects and others not so good. But it’s okay, it’s a process. We are all learning. I will learn this lesson and come back stronger.

When did the game start to turn? “In the first set I managed my emotions well, but in the second I started to become wise and, as a result, I lost my power. And she started moving better, I started missing light punches.

The good news is that it’s me against myself. The bad thing is that I still have problems in the battle with myself (smiles). But is normal. I will work even harder so that next time I don’t even get a little tired on the court, it will be better.

– Unforced errors: are they more your emotions, your physics or their defensive play? “She moved and defended well, better than anyone.” She always needed to play an extra ball. There’s a little bit of everything, but I will say it’s more about me. Not the entire match, but in the second set I lost some key points that helped turn the match around.

Then, of course, he became incredibly defensive. But I would say I lost the match because of the key moments where it was more about me.

— You played not only against Coco, but also against 24 thousand spectators. How did you feel? — I won’t say that I played against the stands. I received a lot of supportive messages from New York, so I knew… How could they support me more than her? Of course they will support her. She is playing in a Grand Slam final at 19 years old, it’s incredible. In fact, she made history. It was expected, I didn’t play against them.

Sometimes support can put pressure on a player, it put pressure on her at the beginning. It’s about me, I couldn’t finish important plays, I made unforced errors. It gave them energy, they made more noise, it felt better on the court.

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“I’m not that upset now, but I will be. So I will definitely go for a drink.”

— You maintained your composure for most of the ceremony until you mentioned your family and apologized for the outcome. Why were you apologizing? And how much did your family help you? “I wouldn’t be here without them.” They did a lot to give me the opportunity to become a tennis player. I don’t know what time it is there, it’s probably night. For me it is important that they get enough sleep (smiles). And they did not sleep, they looked at me. Now you have to go to bed, but they definitely won’t sleep well. For this I apologized.

—You said you were playing against yourself. What exactly is this and what are you having trouble with? — Sometimes emotions overwhelm. Today I started to get smart and didn’t hit the balls I should have hit. I make a lot of winners and a lot of unforced errors. Today, my unforced errors in the second set helped her believe that she could win the match. After the second set, emotions overwhelmed me.

—What happened to your hip when you took medical leave? “I felt it at the beginning of the third set, but nothing serious. His muscle was very tense. I felt a lot of pressure on my adductor muscle so I called the physio hoping he would help me and I could move better.

—What did they say to Coco when they hugged her? You trained with her before the tournament, how much did her forehand improve compared to training and your previous matches? -He started to move better on the court, to defend better. This helped her win the tournament.

Sobolenko and Gauff after the end of the final match

Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

— You didn’t want to talk much about the first racket title until the tournament was over. What do you say now? Do you perceive the end of the tournament differently when you know you still have this achievement? “That’s why I’m probably not so upset now. But I will, so I’ll definitely go for a drink (smiles). Yes, athletes also drink sometimes, but not a lot (smiles).

Becoming number one is a huge achievement and I am proud of all the years of hard work that have helped me become number one in the world. But for me it is important to finish the year as the first racket, and not just become one and lose this title in a week. It’s good that you can say that I was the first racket, but I want to end the year in this state. So I stay positive and motivated (laughs).

— This year the tournament celebrated the 50th anniversary of equal pay. How can women’s tennis influence other sports to pay the same? “The only thing that can be said is that women deserve the same salary as men because we sacrifice a lot.” We work hard and we don’t get paid for doing nothing.

We deserve equal pay as men. Yes, men are stronger, they will continue to be stronger and better than us, but we also work and deserve the same salary.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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