Each Monday, LWOT will profile a champion from one of the previous week’s tournaments. This week we feature WTA Madrid Open winner Aryna Sabalenka.
Aryna Sabalenka is a feisty baseliner from Belarus. She is a top ten singles player with two doubles Grand Slams to her name. The #4 player in the world has been recently on a roll, winning the WTA event in Madrid and making the final of Stuttgart weeks earlier.
Aryna Sabalenka was born on May 5th, 1998 in Minsk, Belarus. She grew up idolizing no one, which shows her strong, independent streak. The Belarussian isn’t one to mince words, firing verbal volleys at her coaches in her native land and at the Australian crowd for mocking her grunting during her first round loss to Ash Barty a few years ago.
Sabalenka’s coach is Anton Dubrov. She was previously coached by Russian Dmitry Tursunov, who took the Belarussian from just inside the top 50 to inside the top 10.
Style of Play
Aryna Sabalenka is a powerful baseliner with the ability to finish points off at net. She has a strong serve, as well as a return capable of putting her opponents on the back foot from the go. Consistency and poor shot selection have been her achilles heels. However, she appears to have ironed out her weaknesses so far this year as she reaches a career high of #4.
Arynsa Sabalenka in 2021
Aryna Sabalenka started off the year with a win in Abu Dhabi before making the fourth round at the Australian Open, where she lost to Serena Williams. Her results during the hard court season afterwards were patchy at best, but she has really caught fire over the last month where she has reached the final of Stuttgart and won Madrid.
We at LWOT expect big things from Aryna Sabalenka. It seems only a matter of time before she translates her results on the doubles court where she is a multiple Grand Slam champ to the singles court. Sabalenka has the game, physique and champion’s mentality to challenge the best in the world and has proven this with her results on the WTA Tour. Given her recent form on clay, the Belarusian will enter the French Open as one of the favorites.
Main Photo from Getty.