Just a year ago, Aryna Sabalenka was struggling with her serve. She was knocked out of the 2022 Australian Open in the fourth round. She subsequently began working with biomechanics and performance coach Gavin MacMillan and soon improved her serve.
Thus, the Belarusian player became a force to be reckoned with on the WTA Tour. She reached the semi-finals of both the French Open and the US Open. She also played in the final of the 2022 WTA Finals. However, she lost the match to Caroline Garcia.
With constant improvements, Aryna Sabalenka won the Australian Open 2023 title, her career’s first Grand Slam singles title. After this triumph, many of her contemporaries praised her. Former World No. 2 Paula Badosa is one of them. She and Aryna Sabalenka are close friends.
The Spaniard complimented the current World No.2 for her attitude and work ethic.
“As she always says, we’re soulmates. I think we’re very similar personalities and I admire her a lot. She’s a fighter and she’s been through a lot — tough moments — and she’s always fighting, no matter what. We all remember how she started last year in Australia with the serve and she tried and she tried and she never gave up, and she had an amazing reward,” she said.
She also talked about the importance of this victory for the Belarusian player in her career.
“I know for her it was very important and it’s a dream come true. And I was very happy because we’re very close and we’re living, like, the same journey together. I think that she totally deserves it,” she continued.
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Aryna Sabalenka’s incredible performance at the Australian Open 2023
The 24-year-old, landed in Australia this January with the single motivation to win the titles. Aryna Sabalenka first won the 2023 Adelaide International 1 tournament in Australia. She started her journey at Melbourne Park by beating Tereza Martincova in the first round of the tournament. She won this match quite convincingly 6-1, 6-4.
Her second-round opponent was Shelby Rogers, whom she beat 6-3, 6-1. In the third round, she faced, Elise Mertens. She defeated her 6-2, 6-3. The level of competition began to rise in the fourth round as she was up against Belinda Bencic. However, she was able to beat her 7-5, 6-2. In the quarterfinal round, she passed the challenge of Donna Vekic by beating her 6-3, 6-2.
In the semi-final round, she faced Polish challenger Magda Linette. She was able to beat her to 7(7)- 6(1), 6-2 to storm into the final of the 2023 Australian Open. In the final, the 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina made it tough for her as she won the first set. However, Aryna Sabalenka soon stepped up her game to win the match and the championship with a scoreline of 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
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