“Very Powerful Tennis”: Simona Halep Praises Confident Aryna Sabalenka on Her Madrid Open 2021 Glory

Published 05/11/2021, 6:55 AM EDT
Tennis – WTA 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 8, 2021 Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka celebrates winning her final match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty with the trophy REUTERS/Sergio Perez


Aryna Sabalenka got her sweet revenge against Australian World No. 1, Ashleigh Barty, by getting past her in the Mutua Madrid Open 2021 final. In return, she also won the admiration of Romanian World No. 3 Simona Halep.

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Presently, the top tennis stars are competing at the Italian Open 2021. It is the most crucial tournament left ahead of the clay-court finale, the French Open.

Seeded third in the tournament, Simona opened up about her Stuttgart Open semifinal opponent in the pre-tournament press conference. Seemingly, the Belarusian has left Halep impressed with stunning performances in the last two tournaments.

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Tennis – WTA 500 – Stuttgart Open – Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany – April 24, 2021 Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka celebrates winning her semi final match against Romania’s Simona Halep Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat

Simona Halep on Aryna Sabalenka’s recent clay-court success

Aryna Sabalenka reached her career-high ranking of World No. 4 after winning the Madrid Open title. Her finishing as the runner-up at the Stuggart Open also helped her cause. The Belarusian had outclassed Simona Halep in the Stuggart Open semifinal 6-3, 6-2 to reach the final.

Despite the loss, the Romanian had only kind words for her opponent. Moreover, she was not surprised by Aryna’s run in Madrid. Simona said, “No, is not surprising. She’s playing great. Very powerful tennis. She has confidence.”

Furthermore, the reigning Italian Open champion insisted that Aryna would soon find her breakthrough in major tournaments too. Also, she congratulated her for her consecutive successes on clay.

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“She can actually do a lot in Grand Slams also, so she’s getting closer to that,” the Romanian added. “She played final in Stuttgart, so it’s not the first result on clay. So congrats to her. She’s playing really well.”

Summing things up, Simona reiterated the beaming confidence of the Belarusian. She also has high hopes for her. “I was not surprised, and I’m expecting actually more from her,” the two-time Grand Slam champion ended.

Halep and Sabalenka’s road ahead at the Italian Open 2021

The defending champion Simona Halep has a tough first match in Rome. She will face former World No. 1 Angelique Kerber or French star Alize Cornet in the Italian Open 2021 second round.

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Tennis – WTA 500 – Stuttgart Open – Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany – April 23, 2021 Romania’s Simona Halep in action during her quarter final match against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova Pool via REUTERS/Marijan Murat

As for the Madrid Open champion, Sabalenka will meet Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo in Round 2. Interestingly, the Spanish professional came through an almost 4-hour battle at a controversy-filled match against Italian Camila Giorgi.

If all goes right for Halep and Sabalenka, they will meet each other in the Italian Open 2021 final. The tournament outcome will also set the base of their French Open preparations.

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Purav Joshi

1122 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.

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