Aryna Sabalenka believes she can continue her fine form during the clay season as the Belarusian says she will focus on herself and not on what people have to say on social media. Sabalenka, ranked at No 2 in the world, suffered a surprise 6-4 6-4 defeat to 74th-ranked Sorana Cirstea in the Miami Open quarterfinal.
Considering her form early in the year, 2023 Australian Open champion Sabalenka was a top favorite for the Miami title. Sabalenka is kicking off her 2023 season at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, which is starting on April 17th.
"Yeah, I think the key would be just to focus on myself, don't think about social media, don't think about the people, expectations. Just focus on myself. Just do my thing, and I believe that if I'm going to play the same level or even better, wins will come.
I just have to keep working hard, yeah, keep moving forward. There was some tough lessons in the first part of the season. I'll just learn (smiling), reset, and start working again from the beginning. Yeah, do my best to make sure I bring my best tennis on the clay court season," Sabalenka said, per Sportskeeda.
Sabalenka: I didn't play my best against Cirstea
"Yeah, it definitely wasn't my best match. I was struggling a lot with the conditions, like heat. I felt like balls were flying too much and I couldn't find control, controlling the ball.
Yeah, was just trying to do my best till the last point. I just couldn't adjust to these conditions unfortunately. Next time I'll try better," Sabalenka said. In both sets, Sabalenka was down by an early break. Both times, Sabalenka recovered from an early break down but then would again lose her serve. By beating Sabalenka, 32-year-old Cirstea clinched her first win against a top-2 player.