Aryna Sabalenka reveals ‘funny’ Novak Djokovic message ahead of duo becoming world No 1

Novak Djokovic during a match

Aryna Sabalenka has revealed she received a funny message from Novak Djokovic to congratulate her on her upcoming ascent to the world No 1 ranking.

The 25-year-old also expressed her appreciation for Ons Jabeur after the Tunisian star came to applaud her achievement despite having just suffered a tough defeat.

Sabalenka will overtake Iga Swiatek to climb to the top of the WTA rankings for the first time in her career following the 2023 US Open.

Defending champion Swiatek’s three-set fourth round defeat to Jelena Ostapenko confirmed the end of her 75-week streak as world No 1.

Djokovic, meanwhile, will overtake Carlos Alcaraz to reclaim top spot in the ATP rankings after the conclusion of the hard-court major.

Following her 6-1, 6-3 victory over Daria Kasatkina in the last 16 at Flushing Meadows, Sabalenka discussed the congratulatory messages she has received from fellow players.

“Yeah, very nice from Ons. After her tough loss, she gave me five. She was still upset, but she still come to me and congratulate me. I love this girl. She’s amazing. I think she’s the best. I mean, I got a lot of messages, a lot of support from a lot of people, players,” said the Belarusian in her press conference.

“The funniest one was from Djokovic because he also became world No 1, will become world No 1 after US Open. Someone mentioned us with this funny sunglasses from the US Open. He just send me like, ‘Smile if you will become world No 1 soon.’ It was the funniest one, I would say.”

The Australian Open champion also insisted that securing the No 1 ranking will not change her approach in any way.

“About the world No 1, it’s not change anything. Yes, I was No 2, now I’m No 1. It’s great. Of course, it’s like a great achievement. It’s one of the goals. It’s great to say that, yeah, I’ve been world No 1. But it’s not changing anything. You still have to bring your best tennis,” declared Sabalenka.

“Even sometimes players have nothing to lose against you, they’re playing their best tennis, so sometimes it’s even tougher. I’m not focusing on that. It’s ranking in sport. Anybody can beat anybody. I’m trying to focus on myself and improve myself more, doing everything to bring my best tennis on each match.”

Sabalenka, who is yet to drop a set at the US Open, will next face world No 23 Qinwen Zheng in the quarter-finals of the event.

READ MORE: Soon-to-be word No 1 Aryna Sabalenka’s kind words to Iga Swiatek