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Sabalenka talks about "amazing atmosphere" following tough US Open loss to Fernandez
"It was an amazing atmosphere, I expect that they will support her more than me," she said.
Published Sep 10, 2021
Despite the roars of applause and chants that erupted for 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez during Thursday night's semifinals, Aryna Sabalenka enjoyed her time on Arthur Ashe. After all, she expected the crowd would get behind the teenager. At 23-years-old, Sabalenka was through to her second major semifinal and was looking to reach her first Grand Slam final, but fell in a tough 6-7 (3), 6-4, 4-6 bout.
She fought like crazy but unfortunately couldn't quite produce the level she is fully capable of amidst a loud arena packed with fans fully supporting the teen. The world No. 2 often tried to get the crowd on her side, raising her arms up to the sky, looking directly at fans. Despite her efforts, the crowd continued to heavily favor Fernandez—carrying quite the deductible story as an unseeded teen sensation.
"It was an amazing atmosphere, I expect that they will support her more than me," she said. I expect this but it was really loud and a few times I was trying to ask them for the support, but anyway it was a great atmosphere and I really happy to be there. I enjoyed every second on the court."
The world No. 2 opened up about the semifinal affair and said it wasn't so much of Fernandez doing something but that she "destroyed" herself. The Belarusian cited key points in the match—double faults and not being able to make Fernandez move cost her. She also mentioned that everything these two weeks is just going right for the teen, and playing with no pressure can of course help.
"Seems like in these two weeks, everything working well for her," she said. "Like this is nothing to lose. People are here supporting her like she's kind of on the top of the situation. She's staying on the baseline, hitting I would say sometimes crazy shots and everything is going in."
Things may not have gone the way she hoped, but she's coming out of this year's US Open by making her deepest run at the New York major. It's something to note and to improve on going forward and she seems ready to continue to put in the hard work.
"If you're not using your opportunities, someone else will use it. This is what happened today. I will try to improve it. I will keep working and fighting, and I believe that one day it will come," she said.