Former World Number 1 Believes Aryna Sabalenka’s Australian Open Dominance Puts the Belarussian Firmly in the Driving Seat for 2024

Published 01/27/2024, 12:59 PM EST

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via Reuters

Aryna Sabalenka scripts history, claiming her second Australian Open title with a dazzling display of skill and determination on the tennis court. Without dropping a single set and making her Chinese opponent sweat in the Grand Slam final, she has made her stand clear in the tennis arena. But, do you know, there’s more to the story than just admiration for her incredible tennis abilities?

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In a recent acknowledgment, Laura Robson, a former world number one, applauded Aryna Sabalenka and, at the same time, underscored how her Australian Open victory has positioned her as the one to beat this year. Let’s take a look at what makes Sabalenka’s 2024 version different from her past avatar.

Aryna Sabalenka’s recent victory has brought a new version of herself 

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In a conversation with Eurosport, the 30-year-old former British tennis player who has watched Sabalenka win her second major title opened up about how the Australian Open victory has made her the one to look out for this year.

She said, “You see her now, and you can’t believe she’s the same player. She goes for it on the second serve, but she’s super confident in that shot so the turnaround mentally. Working on that [serve] gave her belief in the rest of her game. She is moving better than ever; she’s defending better than ever. Immense pressure on your groundstrokes as an opponent.” 

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Further, she also highlighted how, even though the 25-year-old looked nervous on the first couple of match points, she did her best and put in amazing work with her serves. She also shared a thought about what the other tennis players might be thinking seeing her fight for the Australian Open title.

Former world number one stated, “I feel like the rest of the players in the locker room are thinking ‘uh oh’ for the rest of the season.” Moreover, even the Belarusian tennis player talked about how she has improved her game in a better way, with the growing time. 

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A calmer version of herself 

After enjoying the tournament and becoming the first woman since Victoria Azarenka in 2013 to retain the title at Rod Laver Arena, Sabalenka, after the victory, opened up about how she has seen herself grow into a better player. Her relaxed attitude has been reflected throughout the tournament, from signing the bald head of a fitness coach to keeping a smile on her face throughout the event.

The world number two stated, “I think it’s the biggest improvement in my game, my mindset, I’m more calm on court now and more in control. And no matter what happened, I know that I’m gonna try my best on each point.” Further, she also highlighted how it has been a long journey, but at the same time, she still has a long way to go.

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Moreover, what are your thoughts on the world number 2 becoming a better player on the court? Do let us know in the comment section below.

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Written by:

Pratishtha Prakash

2,130Articles

One take at a time

Watching the biggest sports events have been a part of my life right from my early childhood. Although I have grown up watching a variety of sports, including tennis, cricket, and esports, I have a special connection to tennis. Thus, when it came to building a career in sports journalism, I focused on the racket sport.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

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