In a recent interview, Aryna Sabalenka opened up about her arduous journey to the World No. 1 spot in the WTA singles rankings. With her run to the final at the 2023 US Open, the 25-year-old Belarusian dethroned Iga Swiatek from pole position.
Swiatek had held the top ranking 75 straight weeks since obtaining it in April 2022 after Ashleigh Barty’s sudden retirement.
During the conversation with WTA Insider, Aryna Sabalenka talked about her feelings after her Australian Open success, which is when she realized that she could challenge Swiatek for the top spot in the rankings.
“After winning the Australian Open, I was thinking probably I have a chance to put Iga (Swiatek) under pressure, show her that it’s not going to be easy for her to stay on top of the game. I was just practicing a lot, kept working hard, kept improving myself, and I was hoping that one day I’d become World No.1,” said Aryna Sabalenka.
Towards the end of the 2022 season, Sabalenka had struggled a lot with her serve and lost several matches due to multiple double faults. However, she has put those worries behind her this year, having made it to the semifinals of all four Grand Slam tournaments.