Who Is Aryna Sabalenka’s Teammate That Kick-Started a Whole New Superstition at the Australian Open?

Published 01/25/2024, 12:05 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

As the 2024 Australian Open unfolds, Aryna Sabalenka isn’t just relying on her skills; she seems to have cracked the code that might help her to give her best. It’s not a belief, but it’s a not-so-mysterious and new superstition that her teammate kicked off for the betterment. But now that she is ready to play in the semifinals of the tournament, the biggest question is: what is the secret behind the Australian Open superstition?

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While there are a lot of tennis players who believe in a proper pattern of things or different superstitions to keep their game going, for Sabalenka, it’s her teammate who went ahead with a different superstition.

Aryna Sabalenka’s weird Australian Open superstition

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Tennis players have been creating habits that give them an edge and believing in themselves that they can do better. And the defending Australian Open champion this year is making a team effort in Melbourne to create a ritual of its own. Do you know that the 25-year-old tennis player autographs her fitness trainer, Jason Stacy’s, bald head?

Before each match of her title defense so far, the world number two-ranked tennis player has made sure to autograph on her fitness trainer’s head. Jason Stacy is the coach for the Belarusian tennis player, who helps her get ready with her mind and body for every tennis match.

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Who is Sabalenka’s fitness coach, Jason Stacy?

Although he is not a professional tennis player himself, he has accompanied a lot of elite players throughout their tennis journeys. He started off his experience in tennis while working with Dmitry Tursunov, after being connected through a mutual friend. While their partnership turned out to be extremely successful, he eventually started working with the Russian and Kazakhstan Davis and Fed Cup teams.

Not only that but after a few years, he also took on a consultant role for his tennis players in order to spend more time with them. Following that, Tursunov contacted him about a player that he has been working on, currently named Aryna Sabalenka, as a trainer. His job is to help the 25-year-old become more efficient with her power so that she can move better and waste less time and energy.

Not only that, it won’t be wrong to say that the Grand Slam Championship shares a great bond with her fitness coach. Not only that but there have been times when Stacy has been spotted in the audience with his bald head but with Sabalenka’s autograph on it. While there were a lot of questions arising as to why the 25-year-old chose to go with such a practice to keep her track going, she herself opened up about carrying the superstition.

How did the superstition become a part of Sabalenka’s Australian Open journey?

After winning the quarter-final and making her place in the Australian Open semi-final, during an on-court interview, she opened up about how signing his coach’s head became a part of the journey. Firstly, in a joking manner, she exclaimed, “We just like to do weird shit, guys!”

But then further, she detailed how it all started. She stated, “We just started this. I did it before the first match, and after I won, I told Jason, ‘Well, I guess it’s a routine right now.’ He’s not happy with that, but he understands everything.” Since the first match to the quarterfinal, they have been following their own thing to keep the Australian Open beat going.

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Even after sharing a great bond, the second-ranked tennis player opened up about how her fitness coach has not been super happy with her development but at the same time has been a good sport about it. However, it will be interesting to see whether this superstition helps the 25-year-old defend her Australian Open title till the end.

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Furthermore, what are your thoughts on Sabalenka’s odd trend with her fitness coach? Do let us know in the comment section below.

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Written by:

Pratishtha Prakash

2,107Articles

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:

Ananya Giri

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