WTA Madrid: Aryna Sabalenka - "Don't know if I'll win a Grand Slam this year"
Aryna Sabalenka confirmed her top form in Madrid and won her biggest career title. However, the Belarusian does not necessarily see herself as a candidate for a Grand Slam title.
by Michael Rothschädl
last edit: May 09, 2021, 04:35 pm
A 6: 0 against a number one in the world is a powerful exclamation point, that is out of the question. On Saturday yesterday in the Spanish capital, however, the mental achievement was to put away the set compensation after the clear opening sentence, to fight your way into the decision round and finally to win the title with 6: 4, the far more impressive performance of the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.
The now fourth in the world ranked her way up to her biggest career title to date - and confirmed the dazzling condition of the 23-year-old: "What I've done well here is always to stay focused, to put her under pressure until the end. In the crucial moments I was more aggressive, that helped me to win the game, "said Sabalenka after her final triumph.
Sabalenka with revenge against Barty
It was also the revenge for two defeats against the current number one in the women's tennis world, most recently in the final of the WTA 500 event in Kitzbühel. Defeats that can be ascribed to Barty's strengths, as she always finds solutions to tricky situations and has the playful opportunities to constantly present her opponents with new challenges, as Sabalenka emphasized.
"I think we played great tennis the whole match, so I'm glad I got the win," said the Belarusian, delighted with her final triumph in Madrid. The fact that the biggest career title came about on clay, of all places, is also quite surprising for Sabalenka: "I thought that this surface was not for me, that it would be very difficult for me to race under these conditions because of the long changes."
"Everything is going to be mentally harder at the Grand Slams"
With her performances in the calendar year 2021, Sabalenka is of course also a candidate for the title win in the very big tournaments, the Grand Slams. However, this is a much more difficult challenge, as Sabalenka emphasized: "I think that anyone can win a Grand Slam, you just have to bring your level to the maximum and be there. The tricky thing is to do it in a Grand Slam tournament do, so I don't know. At the Grand Slams everything is different, mentally everything gets tougher. "
Sabalenka does not necessarily see herself as a title contender at the biggest tournaments, although of course these represent the 23-year-old's big goal: "I don't know if I'll be able to win a Grand Slam this year. Obviously it is what I want. So I'll do whatever I can to maximize my level and compete as well as I've done here. "