“Can’t Handle This Pressure”: Aryna Sabalenka Reveals Mental Doubts Before Making Grand Slam Semifinal Debut at Wimbledon

Published 07/08/2021, 9:30 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 8, 2021 Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka is seen during a practice session before her semi final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova Pool via REUTERS/David Gray


Second seed Aryna Sabalenka is an unstoppable force at the ongoing Wimbledon Championships 2021. Before this tournament, her best results at Majors were reaching the fourth round in the Australian Open and US Open. But now, the 23-year-old Belarusian has made it into her maiden Grand Slam semifinal at the All England Club.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Unquestionably, it is an outcome of an impeccable journey that started for Sabalenka at the start of this season. While many doubted her abilities in big tournaments, her game has indeed articulated all the answers. But what changed for her in Wimbledon?

Read More: Naomi Osaka Fires Back at Critics Who Think She Does Not ‘Fit the Box of an Olympian’

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Aryna Sabalenka on mental transformation for Grand Slam tournaments

For all tennis professionals, the four Grand Slam tournaments remain the most prominent events of the year. Thus, the results there also have a higher consequence than other tournaments. In her 14 major appearances before, Sabalenka could not reach the last eight and beat herself up.

“I was struggling on the Grand Slams with all emotions going through. After every Slam, I was so disappointed about myself that I can’t handle this pressure,” Sabalenka said.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 6, 2021 Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka slips over during her quarter final match against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

However, determined to become a better tennis player, the Belarusian worked on the mental aspect of the game. Naturally, the improvements have results to show. Also, it has added a matured layer of gameplay to her aggressive and all-out attack playing style.

“I actually thought that I will never make it to the second week. We worked a lot with my psychologist and with my coach. I’m really happy that here in Wimbledon, I’m in the second week, I’m still in the tournament, and I still have this opportunity to win a slam. I will do everything I can to reach my goal,” Sabalenka concluded.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 6, 2021 Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka celebrates winning her quarter final match against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur REUTERS/Toby Melville

In the semifinals, the WTA World No.4 will take on eighth seed Karolina Pliskova for a place in the final. Apart from them, World No.1 Ashleigh Barty and 2018 champion Angelique Kerber would also fight for the same in Wimbledon.

Watch this story: Heartbreaking Losses at Wimbledon Championships 2021: Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Nick Kyrgios, Venus Williams, Ons Jabeur, Andy Murray

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

What Sabalenka needs to continue to reach Wimbledon Championships 2021 final?

One of the most influential factors in the Belarusian’s strategy is her big service game. Coupled with clean ball-striking groundstrokes on both forehand and backhand has elevated her chances of winning. However, as it always goes in sport, it also depends on how much she believes in herself on the day.

Do you think Sabalenka will hurdle the pressure against experienced Pliskova to reach her maiden Grand Slam final? Or would it be just another lesson for her at Wimbledon Championships 2021?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Also Read: “Quick Decisions”: Karolina Pliskova Opens Up About Her Preparations Ahead of Wimbledon Semi-final Clash Against Aryna Sabalenka

Trending Stories

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Purav Joshi

961 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT