Aryna Sabalenka's new season will start with an important mission: to defend the title at the Australian Open. Her 2023 was an exceptional year, with two milestones: the victory of her first Major in Melbourne and the No.1 in the WTA ranking, albeit lost in the final weeks of the season.
The former German tennis player Andrea Petkovic named the current world No.2 Belarusian as the best tennis player of the 2023 season, even better than the current world no.1 Iga Swiatek. Petkovic highlighted how Sabalenka was the closest tennis player to winning all the Grand Slam tournaments this season, stating that the Belarusian was close to winning all four Grand Slam tournaments in 2023.
Petkovic crowns Sabalenka
"Aryna Sabalenka is the player of the year because she has a small advantage over Iga Swiatek. The Belarusian could have won all four Slams in 2023. She won the Australian Open and was 5-2 in the third set against Karolina Muchova at the Roland Garros.
Up until then, she had been No. 1 in major victories on the Tour, she had won by far the most matches up until then, and that kind of broke her. Then again, the semifinals of Wimbledon, she should have won it Even against Ons Jabeur.
She was up a set and had break points, multiple breaks, the momentum was completely on hierside, but she lost that match. The same thing happened at the US Open final when she was up a set and the momentum was completely on her side, to beat Coco Gauff," the German said during the The Rennae Stubbs Tennis podcast.
In one of her latest interviews, Sabalenka analyzed her season, explaining: "I had a lot of lessons this season. A lot of tough defeats, a lot of big wins, becoming No.1 in the world but it's not about the rankings. I feel like in those tough games, that's something you have to learn sometimes.
I will continue to work. I feel like I'm going in the right direction, I have to stick to our plan and move forward, forget about the negative side of this season, focus on the positive and keep working and keep getting better."