How are the top seeds and former champions feeling ahead of the 2021 US Open? World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka, No.3 seed and defending champion Naomi Osaka, and 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu took questions from the press corp ahead of the final Slam of the season.

WTA Insider has the highlights from US Open Media Day.

READ: Everything you need to know about the 2021 US Open

Ashleigh Barty breaks down the conditions in New York:

"There aren't any tricks or any gremlins in these courts. Pretty much what you see is what you get."

"It's not too dissimilar to Cincinnati I found. I think there's obviously a little bit more humidity here in New York. It changes the way the ball flies through the air a fraction, how long it stays on your racquet. 

"There are a lot of things that feel similar. The courts are a little bit different. The practice courts obviously play different to the match courts purely because they've had more traffic on them."

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"Actually I feel pretty happy with how I'm playing. I thought I played two really tough matches in Cincinnati."

- Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka on her form and confidence going into her title defense:

"Honestly, I know I haven't played that many matches. I know that I haven't even gotten to a quarterfinal [in a while]. 

"Actually I feel pretty happy with how I'm playing. I thought I played two really tough matches in Cincinnati. The girl that I lost to, she played really well. I didn't play her before, so I had no information on her.

"It's one of those things where you do have to have a match rhythm. Of course, I played literally no tournaments before that match. 

"I feel pretty confident with where I am right now. Of course I'm not declaring that I'll do amazing here. For me, I'm the one-match-at-a-time like person. Hopefully it will work out in the end."


Aryna Sabalenka on applying her Wimbledon experience to the US Open:

"The goal is, as always, to win it. I think everyone has the same goal. But after Wimbledon I just understand that I don't have to think about win it or final or be in the second week. I just have to enjoy my game in each match and just be ready for every match. Make sure I bring my level on the court and do everything I can. That's it.

"This is actually what I changed. I actually reached the semifinal at Wimbledon, so hopefully this time I can do even better."

READ: Quarter-by-quarter breakdown of the US Open draw

"The flight over here, I swear it was the world telling me I shouldn't be leaving Australia."

- Ashleigh Barty

Barty reflects on Wimbledon-winning, five-title, No.1 season so far:

"We've laughed a lot about some of the things that have happened. Most of that laughter has come from experiences off the court. Some things you haven't been able to control. The flight over here, I swear it was the world telling me I shouldn't be leaving Australia.

"But we have to laugh about it. You have to be able to take the piss out of it and just kind of lighten up, enjoy it. It is what it is. 

"It's become such a beautiful story for me this year. It's become such a beautiful year on the tennis court. All of those distractions, experiences, everything that's come with it has made it all the better.

READ: Is Barty the favorite for the US Open? 

"I think once our year is over, I think it will be certainly a year for my team that's with me here, my team back in Australia, for all of us to come together and celebrate because it's been an incredible year. It's been one that probably, whenever I do retire, it's going to be one of those years that you really look back on and laugh when you think of the experiences that made you cry, you laugh at the experiences that made you hurt, and those ones that were really euphoric and incredible, they make you smile as well.

"To be able to take that all into account when the dust settles and our year is over will be a lot more enjoyable than trying to create time now and find time to reminisce, because I don't want to reminisce just yet. I want to do that with my family and my whole team."

Sabalenka on Barty's 2021 form:

"What she's doing, I think it's a goal for every player to be on the top for so long and be consistently there. That's something unbelievable. I would say this is the goal. For example, for me, I would like to be on the top for such a long time and be there consistently.

"That's something unbelievable. I'm impressed what she's doing."

READ: Martina's take - Navratilova previews the US Open


Osaka on whether she can clear her mind and focus only on tennis on court:

"It would be nice if there was that line for me, but no. I'm the type of person that everything is sort of the same. I feel like maybe you could see it earlier on in my career. If there was something that was not right in my personal life, you could kind of see it in my playing.

"So it would be really cool if I could draw that line and be able to be like a robot Superman that could go on the court, focus just on tennis. But, no, I'm the type that kind of focuses on everything at one time. That's why everything is sort of muddled to me."

READ: Breaking down the Top 32 seeds at the US Open

"I'm trying to stay patient. If I do all of that, I know I'm going to get back to or get to where I want to be."

- Bianca Andreescu

Bianca Andreescu says she's feeling healthy and itching for matches as she takes a long view of her career:

"[Coach Sven Groeneveld] always thinks long-term. What we also do is we create short-term process goals, because I feel like I've been looking too much at results just because of how well I was doing in 2019.

"I have to tell myself I'm not the same person back then than what I am now. Taking so much time off, I feel like it helped me in many ways. But then getting into that competitive mindset, it kind of brought me back a little bit. I feel like that's also a reason why I haven't had the results I wanted.

"But I'm really trying to focus on process and long-term because I'm also only 21. I want to be able to do what 21-year-olds do. I feel like in 2019, it was just tennis, tennis, tennis. I got burnt out towards the end of the year. I don't know, that probably correlated to injuries. I have no idea. 

"I really looked at everything. I'm in a really good place right now. 

"I'm trying to stay patient. If I do all of that, I know I'm going to get back to or get to where I want to be."

Osaka's thoughts on Barty's No.1 season:

"I think that she's had an amazing year. It's really cool to see someone play so consistently. I would say the key, I feel like you would have to ask her because I've never had a year like her.

"I would say she seems really determined and really focused. I know that she hasn't gone home since Australia, so that's a lot of traveling for her. I don't think I'm the type of person that could do that. It's so good for the sport, I would say."

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