Photo of Aryna Sabalenka

ARYNA SABALENKA

Nationality:
Belarus
Height:
194cm
Age:
26
Points:
7788
RANKING
#3

Bio

Aryna Sabalenka was born in Minsk, Belarus on May 5, 1998. In her career she has won twelve WTA singles titles, including a Grand Slam at the 2023 Australian Open. She is also an excellent doubles player, she has two other Majors in this specialty: the US Open 2019 and the Australian Open 2021, won both with Elise Mertens. Together with the Belgian tennis player, she also won the WTA 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami in 2019, thus making the Sunshine Double. This feat was only achieved by four couples in the women's doubles.

On 23 August 2021 she rose to second position in the world singles ranking, her best ranking, reached again in January 2023. In doubles, however, she pushed herself up to first place in February of the same year, after the victory in Melbourne, becoming thus the second tennis player born in Belarus to make it in this specialty.

Aryna begins to fall in love with tennis thanks to her father Sergey, a former ice hockey player who died at the age of only 44 in November 2019, who one day, passing by a tennis court, made her try to play.

At eighteen she got the face of a roaring tiger tattooed on her left forearm, as she was born in the year of the tiger according to Chinese astrology. Furthermore, her sign symbolizes her fighting spirit and her motto: "Fight, keep fighting, on every single point!"

She was coached by former Russian tennis player Dmitry Tursunov from 2018 until the end of the 2019 season and partly at the beginning of 2020. She also briefly teamed up with Dieter Kindlmann, from August to September 2020. Since the end of 2020 she has been coached by her countryman Antonio Dubrov. Her idols are Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

Career

Aryna Sabalenka started playing aged 6. She made debut on ITF Circuit in 2012 at $25k event in Minsk. She continued to play on ITF circuit in 2013 ans 2014, and in 2015 she won three singles titles and one doubles title on that circuit. In 2016 she rose nearly 400 places in the rankings, ending year at No.155. She won two $50k ITF event in Tianjin and Toyota and made her WTA qualifying debut in Rabat.

Sabalenka posted her first Top 100 season finish in 2017, ending year at No.78. Her season highlight was reaching the first tour-level final at Tianjin (l. Sharapova). She also made a semifinal run at International-level Tashkent (l. Babos). 2017 marked and her Grand Slam main draw debut at Wimbledon, falling in the second-round (as qualifier, l. Witthoeft), and WTA main draw debut in Dubai (as qualifier, l. Ka.Bondarenko).

She was also member of the Belarus Fed Cup Team that advanced to competition final in 2017, going 1-1 in singles and 0-1 in doubles as her side lost to USA. During that final in Minsk, she scored her first Top 20 win of career with defeat of No.13 Stephens. She rounded out the season by lifting WTA 125k Series title in Mumbai (d. Jakupovic).

In 2018, by far her breakthrough season, she collected 46 main draw wins: Prior to 2018, she had owned just 12 main draw victories. Sabalenka opened the season with back to back quarterfinals in Shenzhen and Hobart. On hardcourt, she produced a third-round run on Premier Mandatory debut at Indian Wells (d. 2017 runner-up Kuznetsova, l. Vondrousova), prior to advancing to the second round in Miami the following week (l. Kvitova). On clay, she reached her second career WTA final at Lugano (l. Mertens), but she fell at the first round in Madrid, Rome and at Roland Garros.

During the Asian Swing, she won her biggest title of career in Wuhan (d. Kontaveit) and reached the quarterfinals in Beijing. During that run, she beat No.8 Garcia in the round 16 to seal the eighth Top 10 win of the season and of her career. After that run, she posted her career-high ranking of No.11 after Beijing run (October 8, 2018). She made her debut in Zhuhai but failed to reach the semifinals.

In 2019 she won three WTA titles. Shenzhen, Wuhan and Zhuhai. Also, in doubles, she won the Sunshin Doubles, Indian Wells and Miami, and the US Open, with Elise Mertens. In 2020 Aryna won three WTA titles and reached two hundred career victories. Furthermore she got her fifth title in doubles. She won Doha, Ostrava and Linz.

In 2021, Sabalenka won two WTA titles, Abu Dhabi and Madrid. She also got two Grand Slam semifinals, at Wimbledon and at the US Open. She also won the Australian Open in doubles, with Elise Mertens.

In 2022, she got another semifinal at the US Open, and the final at the WTA Finals.

Aryna opens the 2023 season in the best way, winning the WTA 500 in Adelaide without losing a single set. This is the eleventh career WTA title for the Belarusian, her first in almost two years and the first ever in Australian hard-courts.

The period of optimal form continues throughout the Australian Open, the Grand Slam tournament in which the Belarusian manages to push herself to the final for the first time without giving up any sets. After getting rid of Tereza Martincova, Shelby Rogers, Elise Mertens, the twelfth seed Belinda Bencic, a newfound Donna Vekić and the surprise of the tournament Magda Linette, in the last act she is called to face the defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

In this way, Sabalenka won the first singles Slam of her career, bringing the victory of a Major back to Belarus ten years after the last time, when it was Viktoryja Azaranka who always prevailed on the courts of Melbourne Park. Thanks to the accumulated points, she returns to her best ranking of number two in the world.

Style of play

Sabalenka is a very aggressive player, preferring the game from the baseline and constantly looking for the point. Despite her height, she does not look bad in the phases of containment and coverage of the court. As an excellent doubles player she has good volley control. She has one of the strongest lines on the Tour. However, throughout her career she has repeatedly accused problems with her second serve, leading her to commit a high number of double faults, which is the weak point of the Belarusian's game.

Private life

Sabalenka has a tiger tattoo on her left arm. This tattoo has earned her the nickname The Tiger, which she has used to refer to herself. Sabalenka has studied at the Belarusian State University in a sports-related program. Her tennis idols growing up were Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

Sabalenka avoided publicly criticizing Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko and his government, including following the 2020–2021 Belarusian protests.
In 2020, Sabalenka signed an open letter which stated that sport should remain outside of politics, and was considered to be a pro-government response to the activities of the Free Association of Athletes of Belarus which demanded new elections.

After Wimbledon banned players from Belarus and Russia from competing in 2022 following the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sabalenka stated: "I just understand that it's not my fault."

Aryna Sabalenka's current boyfriend is hockey player Konstantin Koltsov, who also represented Belarus at the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympics during his career.

Net Worth and Endorsement

Since the beginning of her career, Aryna Sabalenka had a sponsorship with Nike. Additionally, she exclusively has racquet related sponsor deal with Wilson.
Aryna Sabalenka's net worth is $9 million in 2023. So far, she has earned $10,478,895 in prize money from professional tennis. She has already garnered around $1 million from this year's winning games. While she doesn't have any fixed salary, Sabalenka earns around $1.5 million annually thanks to her professional career and endorsement contracts.


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