Aryna Sabalenka doesn’t get the credit she deserves for a brilliant 2023 season
Aryna Sabalenka’s failure to finish the season as the WTA Rankings world No 1 should not detract from the cracking season she has put together.
No player matched her for consistency in the Grand Slams, and she has made great strides in her technical work, particularly when it comes to reigning in her double fault problem.
Former WTA Tour professional and 21-time titlist, Pam Shriver feels that Sabalenka has managed an incredible season in 2023 that should be commended.
Shriver adds that Sabalenka has not just played like a champion, but she has also carried herself like a winner.
“Sabalenka came such a long way this year. She was solid as a rock in the big tournaments. I like the way she carried herself, based on the resiliency she’s shown the last couple of years and the confidence she gained from winning in Australia,” Shriver told the WTA.
Shriver believes that one of Sabalenka’s biggest wins came not at a Grand Slam but at the WTA 1000 Madrid Open when she got the better of the world No 1 on a surface that the Pole loves.
“For me, beating Iga in the Madrid final — in three sets — was another big milestone.”
Sabalenka is a terrific athlete, and her powerful ball striking is something to behold down at court level.
Shriver feels that she has all the tools to be a top player, if not one of the great champions of the women’s game.
The American believes that Sabalenka is a realistic contender for three of the four Grand Slams in 2024 if she can stay fit and healthy and in good form.
She believes that, more likely than not, Sabalenka will add to her Grand Slam tally in 2024 as she feels that the Belarussian is built for Majors tennis.
“She seems to check off all the boxes as far as the leave-no-stone-unturned category, which is a really important category when you’re talking about the top two, three in the world,” Shriver added.
“She seems to be built for the endurance part of this … she’s strong and she trains well. Her team has been through a lot with her and I feel there’s a lot of stability there. I think she has a pretty good chance at three of the four majors — the only one I wouldn’t say is Iga’s best one, Roland Garros. But I think she can win Wimbledon and the two hard courts. I’d say it’s a very good chance she wins at least one.”
Sabalenka will start her 2024 season at the WTA 500 Brisbane International.
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