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‘She’s an Emotional Person’- Aryna Sabalenka’s Team-Mate Reveals Ingenious Tactic That Propelled Her to Australian Open Glory

Published 01/11/2024, 5:55 AM EST

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via Reuters

Aryna Sabalenka became a player to watch out for during the 2020 season. Since then, she has found a solid spot in the top 5. Although she rose to a great level, she found difficulty in winning slams, even after reaching the semifinals. The 2023 Australian Open changed her luck with the strongest matches, becoming a great champion. However, her performance coach employed a unique strategy to help her overcome her emotions.

Season 2 of Netflix’s docuseries Break Point focuses on the Belarusian and the tactics her coach employed to help her win the Aussie slam. Will they use the same method in 2024?

Aryna Sabalenka benefitted from new strategy

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In the 2023 Australian Open, Aryna Sabalenka made it big as she managed to go past the semifinal of a grand slam for the first time. The Belarusian player had reached three semifinals before but crashed out of all of them. She managed to achieve this result with the help of her performance coach, Jason Stacy, who decided to shift gears, especially as the Netflix curse plagued the tennis circuit.

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Players featured in Season 1 Part 1 of the docuseries Break Point were dropping out of the first slam like flies. Stacy also discussed the matter as he trained Sabalenka. Interestingly, players who didn’t feature in the documentary also saw themselves affected. Stacy, who knew Sabalenka was an emotional person, needed to make sure her mind was free.

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As season 2 reveals, Stacy would “Manage all the talk about this curse, all the Instagram posts, TikTok bullshit. She’s an emotional person; my job is to manage it.”

Additionally, the coach also revealed the strategy change he employed to help Sabalenka finally claim a Grand Slam. “This season, our approach has been something new and different. Every chance we get, we try to take a step back, go off-site, and practice so we’re not near all the chaos.” The new plan worked out in their favor beautifully.

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Sabalenka will return this season in hopes of defending her title. However, all other WTA stars will aim to take her down. With past strategies helping her emerge victorious, she will come up with new ones to maintain her glory. No matter the result, Sabalenka will only aim to shatter expectations.

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Written by:

Ripunjay Gaba

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Ripunjay Gaba, a tennis enthusiast-turned-journalist at EssentiallySports, found his way from freelance sports journalism to the publishing house in ES. Here, his writing canvas encompasses the game specifics while finding poetic resonance in covering major sporting events. Ripunjay, a perpetual upgrader, uses avid reading to bring varied flavor to his Tennis reporting.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot