Aryna Sabalenka has only positive memories about her previous trips to China as the Belarusian revealed to reporters that once two women fought for her headband. This week, 25-year-old Sabalenka landed in China for the first time since 2019 as the new world No 1 is set to compete at the China Open in Beijing.
Sabalenka, who now has 13 titles in her collection, won four of her first five WTA titles in China. "I remember they used to call me 'Daughter of China.' It was really cool. I liked it," Sabalenka said. Also, Sabalenka hilariously revealed her favorite China memory.
"Favorite memory? I remember two women fighting for my headband. It was interesting to see. I was just like, Guys, I'll bring you another one next time, just please don't fight. That was the funniest memorable moment, I would say," Sabalenka said.
Sabalenka set for her first tournament as the world No 1
When Sabalenka takes to the court for her Beijing first-round match, she will be playing as the world No 1 for the first time in her career.
In her pre-tournament press conference, Sabalenka admitted that there is a different responsibility on her back now that she is the top-ranked player in the women's game. "Well, it just sounds still crazy. I feel like I have a lot of responsibility right now on being No 1.
I feel like kind of representing the tour. Honestly, it's something new for me and still kind of like trying to, I don't know, just trying to understand if it's actually changing anything. Overall it's not changing anything. Like, I was No 2, now I'm No.
1. I'm still going to be there. I'm still going to be fight for it. It's not changing anything. You know, I can say after my career, I can say that, Yeah, I've been world No. 1. It sounds cool, right (smiling)?" Sabalenka said. Sabalenka plays Sofia Kenin in the Beijing first round.
• Iga Swiatek addresses if she is 'good one' and Aryna Sabalenka is 'bad one'• Iga Swiatek confesses how she really felt after losing No. 1 spot to Aryna Sabalenka• Super sensual Aryna Sabalenka by the beautiful sea!• Patrick Mouratoglou details how Aryna Sabalenka 'really hurt' Iga Swiatek in 2023• Iga Swiatek makes candid confession after overtaking Aryna Sabalenka at No. 1• Aryna Sabalenka identifies 'problem' on WTA and tells what must be done