Aryna Sabalenka beat world number one Ashleigh Barty to win her first career WTA Mutua Madrid Open and first clay court tournament. The new number 4 in the world, in conference, analyzed the match and her next seasonal goals.
She said: "It was a crazy match and I'm really happy with this win. I am happy to have won and I feel really great. I would not compare this race to Stuttgart or Miami also because in Germany I got injured during the match and it was therefore difficult to draw conclusions from that match while in Miami it was really very hot and I was not very well.
Here I was focused from the first to the last moment, always trying to put my opponent under pressure. Also the key was being aggressive throughout the race and that helped me win. Ashleigh is number one in the world and she too proved it in this final, especially in the second set.
I didn't expect the first set to go so fast, then she got more aggressive and I think a great final was staged. Fortunately I won and I am really happy to have achieved success."
Aryna Sabalenka: "Against Barty it was a crazy match!"
She talked about the differences between hard and clay courts: "It changes a lot, on clay there are much longer exchanges and you see a different tennis, you have to stay focused and move better.
I remember two years ago I was crazy on clay, now I have gained more experience and have changed, I am more able to concentrate and control the race. I don't know now what will happen in Rome or Paris but I will do everything possible to achieve my goals, this is what I promise.
I realized that on clay I can play well, in tennis you really never know. " Speaking of a possible Grand Slam victory, Sabalenka later commented: "It's a difficult question, I think anyone who can win a Grand Slam tournament, you just have to raise your level to the maximum.
In those tournaments everything is different, mentally it becomes more difficult and I don't honestly know if I will be able to win a Grand Slam this year. Of course it is my goal and I will do everything possible to try to achieve it."