Aryna Sabalenka withdraws from Doha
by DZEVAD MESIC | VIEW 12988
World No 2 Aryna Sabalenka seemingly wants to give herself more time to rest following her Australian Open triumph as she has withdrawn from Doha. The Doha event is taking place between February 13-18.
Sabalenka, 24, has played in Doha three times so far in her career.
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Sabalenka enjoyed an impressive Doha debut in 2020, beating Petra Kvitova in the final to win the title in her first tournament appearance. But in 2021, Sabalenka didn't even come near defending her Doha title as she was beaten in the round-of-16.
Last year, Sabalenka was beaten by Iga Swiatek in the Doha quarterfinal.
Sabalenka will take a bit more time before she returns to action
At the start of the 2023 season, Sabalenka accomplished one of her biggest goals as she is now a Grand Slam champion.
In the Australian Open final, Sabalenka recovered from a set down to beat Elena Rybakina. After winning the Australian Open, Sabalenka appeared on the WTA Insider podcast, where she admitted that she felt an instant relief after becoming a Grand Slam champion.
"I still need a few days to realize what has happened. First of all, it's a little relief that I have a Grand Slam. Second, it's like a drug. I really want it again. It really motivates me a lot. I want even more and I want to become a better player.
I know that there is still a lot of things to work on to be better on court. This is huge motivation, you know?" Sabalenka told WTA Insider. Sabalenka could not have started her season any better. In her first tournament of the year, Sabalenka made it all the way at the Adelaide International.
Then, Sabalenka went to Melbourne Park, where she lifted her first Grand Slam title. Sabalenka is now enjoying a career-high ranking of No 2 and she also owns an 11-0 record in 2023.