A few days after winning her maiden Grand Slam title at the 2023 Australian Open, Aryna Sabalenka remarked that the Land Down Under is her favorite country in the world.
The Belarusian star had previously failed thrice in the semifinal stages of the Majors. She finally emerged victorious as she defeated 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the Melbourne summit clash on January 28.
Rallying from a set down, Sabalenka beat the Kazakh player 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and regained her career-best ranking of No. 2. She also won the Adelaide International 1 earlier in January and remains undefeated so far this season.
The 24-year-old player recently held a Q&A session with her social media followers. She shared that her next tournament will be the WTA 1000 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, to be played from February 19-25.
A fan from Australia stated that the Aussies loved her and asked whether she liked the country, to which she replied:
“My fav country now. Love you guys.”
Another follower asked how her life had changed since becoming a Grand Slam champion. In response, Sabalenka shared an adorable video of her friend’s infant trying to pull her by the hand. She joked that her coaches were trying to get her to practice in a similar manner. She then answered the question seriously, saying:
“Kidding. Not much, keep working a lot.”
The World No. 2 wished her boyfriend Konstantin Koltsov, a former ice hockey player, on Valentine’s Day. She named ice hockey the sport she loved the most after tennis and also picked her 2023 Australian Open outfit as her favorite on the court.
“I think now she is at her best” – Elena Rybakina on Aryna Sabalenka
2023 Australian Open runner-up Elena Rybakina recently lauded Aryna Sabalenka for working extremely hard on her serve, which has been a major issue for the Belarusian. Speaking to Arab News at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, she said:
“I think she’s a really hard worker and she did a great job,” Rybakina said. “I remember how much she was struggling with the serve, and now there are still some double faults here and there, but overall, the serve was really good, especially in the Australian Open final.”
“Her second serve was coming in like the first one. The speed was quite high and I think she worked really hard to get to where she is now. I think now she is at her best and will continue like this for sure.”
Both players will next be in action at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, beginning on February 19.