Andy Roddick issues statement on Aryna Sabalenka that Iga Swiatek may not like

Roddick shares his thoughts on Sabalenka's back-to-back Australian Open wins.

by Dzevad Mesic
Andy Roddick issues statement on Aryna Sabalenka that Iga Swiatek may not like
© Getty Images Sport - Darrian Traynor

Andy Roddick has issued a major statement on Aryna Sabalenka's current level, stating that the back-to-back Australian Open champion "has every right" to think of her as the best player in the women's game right now. 

Throughout 2022, Sabalenka was struggling with her service and it was negatively impacting other parts of her game and results at the end of the day. While Sabalenka wasn't doing well, Iga Swiatek was absolutely dominating the WTA Tour and it just didn't look for the Belarusian. 

But Sabalenka then made a big effort to improve her situation as she hired a biomechanics coach to help her fix her serve. After addressing some other things, Sabalenka started the 2023 season with a bang, winning Adelaide before also becoming a Grand Slam champion at the Australian Open. 

In the remainder of the 2023 season, Sabalenka was the most consistent player at the Grand Slam level, finishing as runner-up at the US Open and also being a semifinalist at the French Open and Wimbledon. Also, Sabalenka won a WTA 1000 event in Madrid and reached the world No. 1 spot for the first time after last year's US Open. 

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Bradley Kanaris

At the start of the 2024 season, Sabalenka continued her strong form from 2023, finishing as runner-up at the Brisbane International before successfully defending her Australian Open title without a set lost. While Sabalenka enjoyed another triumphant Australian Open run, Swiatek - who is still the world No. 1 - suffered a shock third-round loss to Linda Noskova at Melbourne Park.

Roddick, the 2003 US Open champion, is applauding Sabalenka's progression and the ability to bounce back after such a challenging period. 

Roddick on Sabalenka: Has the right to think she's the best right now 

“You love to see progression and hard work being rewarded. The most impressive thing is that 15 months ago she was dealing with the serving yips and there were questions about her mentality and faith in her own game,” Roddick told Betway. 

“The physical attributes have been there from the word go, so credit to her for working through those issues, because this was comprehensive. I hope it’s as gratifying to her as everyone else feels it should be.

“She’s now made the semis or better in the last six majors, and I don’t know that any of us dummies would have looked at her two years ago and said that she was going to be the most consistent player on Earth. She has every right to think that she’s the best player in the world right now.”

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

Sabalenka now aims to win other Grand Slams 

After Sabalenka became a Grand Slam champion at Melbourne Park in 2023 January, she underlined that her next goal was to win more of them. 

In her next Grand Slam tournament, Sabalenka made the French Open semifinal, in which she suffered a collapse and blew a big third-set lead to Karolina Muchova. Although Sabalenka didn't win last year's French Open, she was still able to make a really deep and strong run. 

At Wimbledon, Sabalenka made another semifinal, and she was inches away from sealing a final spot. But then, Ons Jabeur came back from a set and a break down to beat Sabalenka. 

Two months later, Sabalenka made her second Grand Slam final of the year at the US Open, in which she made an outstanding start before Coco Gauff stormed back to win in three sets 2-6 6-3 6-2. 

Now that Sabalenka has defended her Australian Open title, her goal is to win some other Grand Slams for the first time in 2024. When it comes to her belief and confidence, Sabalenka highlighted that she thinks she can play well on every surface.

"Well, I think last year I proved that I can play on each surface. I think those two semifinals I get super emotional. I lost, not like my matches. I played against incredible players, and they just played unbelievable level, but I felt like I got super emotional and I just let that semis go away," Sabalenka said in her press.

"But I definitely think that if I'm going to keep working like I'm working right now, and if we're going to keep building what we are building right now, I'm definitely able to do the same on the clay and on the grass.

"So then I'll just keep working hard and hopefully this year I'll achieve the same goal on the clay or on the grass."

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

So far, the French Open has been the Grand Slam tournament where Sabalenka has had the least success, considering that it's the lone Slam where she only has one semifinal - in every other Major, Sabalenka has had at least two semifinals. However, when the time comes for the French Open in late May and early June, there is no doubt that Sabalenka will be among the top favorites for the title. 

It will be interesting to see if Sabalenka can win her first French Open title in a few months and potentially put herself in a position to aim for a Calendar Grand Slam.

Aryna Sabalenka Iga Swiatek Australian Open