Aryna Sabalenka has become the new Mutua Madrid Open champion and the first thing she wanted to do was share her victory with her team. The Belarusian recovered from an injury in record time before the WTA 1000 to shine in the Caja Mágica. On Monday, she will climb to number 4 in the world, her highest singles ranking, but having just turned 23 she has plenty more to give.
The champion shared her thoughts with the media in a press conference after her win:
The final against Barty. “It was a crazy match there. I’m really happy that I could win this one, it feels amazing right now”.
The key to the match. “I think what I did really well here, I stayed focused from the beginning till the end. I was putting her under pressure, especially at the end of the third set. Like in those key moments I was a little bit more aggressive. That’s what really helped me to win this match.
Number 4 in the world on Monday. “That’s unbelievable. That’s crazy. I’m really happy with this improvement. There are still lots of things to improve. Of course I’m really happy, but I’m also not really focusing on the ranking. I’m more focusing on my game. No. 4, this is not No. 1 [smiling]. There are still lots of things to work on and to improve”.
Her results, a change of attitude. “Before, I wasn’t really focused on the matches with lower ranking players. I was focused, but I was emotional. If someone played winners, I would be angry. I would, I don’t know, just get crazy.
“This year, I don’t know, I just understand that everyone can beat you if you’re level isn’t there. Every time you’re stepping on the court, you just have to bring your level and bring your focus, just be there from the beginning till the end, just don’t give people any chances. This is what just changed in my mind”.
Her team, essential for victory. “I’m proud of my team actually this week because after that injury in Stuttgart, well, honestly I couldn’t move. I don’t know, I couldn’t do anything. Just in four days they prepared me really well. They worked so well so I was able to play and win this title. This is what I’m really most proud of”.