Aryna Sabalenka's ex-coach shares a brutal confession: "She was very unstable"

Maciej Domka, who coached the very strong Belarusian when she was 17, talked about the youth of the 2-time Slam champion

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Aryna Sabalenka's ex-coach shares a brutal confession: "She was very unstable"
© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

The technical and mental maturation shown by Aryna Sabalenka was influenced by a difficult adolescence, which Maciej Domka, her former coach when she was still very young, spoke about.

The former Polish tennis player, in an interview with the Polish media Sport.Pl, told some details of the 25-year-old Belarusian's past, explaining how she was unstable and fragile as a young woman.

Domka, after having coached Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki, joined Aryna Sabalenka's team when she was 17, during the period in which the Belarusian was training at the Academy of former tennis player Uladzimir Walczkou, in Minsk.

"We trained together, she was in our group. At the time Aryna was between 17 and 18 years old, she was under my tutelage, although she had an individual coach and the closest to her was Vadim Sashurin, who took care of his motor preparation," he explained.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

The former Polish tennis player recounted how the WTA No.2 in the world was a determined girl at the time, but with many tennis limitations.

"Today Aryna is seen completely differently in terms of her recent successes. Back then, in the academy, she stood out for her diligence. She was incredibly determined to work and trained at a very high intensity. I don't think anyone trained as much as her. However, Aryna's youth was normal, if not weak. She also played in smaller tournaments, but initially without much success," Domka explained.

 "She transformed all this negative energy into winning shots"

The Belarusian had a difficult time from a personal point of view, which was reflected in her toughness on the playing courts.

"Her parents didn't show up for training. As far as I know, her father had some legal problems. Aryna was alone in all this. I have the impression that this was also her internal motivation that pushed her to move forward, she wanted to excel at all costs. You could read between the lines that her father was having problems and she wanted to help him to start earning. There was a lot of anger in her. She transformed all this negative energy into winning shots," revealed the Pole.

Over the years, however, Sabalenka has done incredible mental work, thanks above all to her team.

"In her youth she was above all very unstable. I know that she worked with a psychologist. She is helped by a strong team with a positive attitude. The psychologist must have given good results, because she made a great leap of consciousness. I am very happy that she had such a development,” he told

There was a moment in Aryna Sabalenka's career when something clicked. From an excellent tennis player with many ups and downs to an absolute champion.

Having arrived on the WTA Tour around the age of 19, for years Aryna seemed incapable of achieving the maturation that would have allowed her to aspire to the most prestigious stages. So many wasted opportunities and the usual technical gaps in her point management made her an incomplete tennis player.

Then the turning point. The change of coach and enormous mental growth made the difference. Two Slam titles, first place in the WTA ranking, also calling into question the dominance of Iga Swiatek.

Aryna Sabalenka