Aryna Sabalenka tells why not doing well at Australian Open would not be end of world

Sabalenka will have a large number of points to defend at the Australian Open since she is the defending champion.

by Dzevad Mesic
Aryna Sabalenka tells why not doing well at Australian Open would not be end of world
© Getty Images Sport - Quinn Rooney

Reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka insists she is not concerned about the prospect of not defending her title at Melbourne Park and losing ranking points. 

After losing in three Grand Slam semifinals, Sabalenka made her first Slam final at the 2023 Australian Open. In the final at Melbourne Park, Sabalenka came back from a set to beat Elena Rybakina 4-6 6-3 6-4 to lift her maiden Grand Slam title. 

Since winning the 2023 Australian Open title, Sabalenka has been consistently ranked inside the top-2 in the world. Sabalenka, who was replaced by Iga Swiatek at the world No. 1 spot after the 2023 WTA Finals, is returning to the Australian Open this January as a defending Grand Slam champion for the first time in her career. 

"Worst case, what happens? I'm going to lose a Grand Slam, lose some points, drop a little bit in the ranking. There's so many tournaments ahead. I'm going to try to do my best to be in another Grand Slam or in other tournaments," Sabalenka said in her pre-tournament press conference in Brisbane. 

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

Sabalenka playing in Brisbane leading up to the Australian Open

Sabalenka, 25, is starting her 2024 season at the Brisbane International. Sabalenka, the top-seeded player in the Brisbane main draw, has a first-round bye at the tournament. After a first-round bye, Sabalenka will play either Lucia Bronzetti or Ashlyn Krueger in her Brisbane opener. 

In Brisbane, the 25-year-old Belarusian is making her debut appearance. Sabalenka is highlighting this year's Brisbane player field and with second-seeded Rybakina, the Belarusian is the top favorite for the Brisbane title. 

Last season, Sabalenka was perfect in Australia as the world No. 2 won back-to-back titles at the Adelaide International and the Australian Open and went 11-0. At this year's Australian summer, Sabalenka is again one of the top contenders to do well and make a deep Australian Open run.

Aryna Sabalenka Australian Open