Aryna Sabalenka shares how she felt watching Iga Swiatek lose to Jelena Ostapenko

Sabalenka secured the world No. 1 spot following Swiatek's US Open round-of-16 exit.

by Dzevad Mesic
Aryna Sabalenka shares how she felt watching Iga Swiatek lose to Jelena Ostapenko
© Getty Images Sport - Sarah Stier

Aryna Sabalenka confirmed she watched Jelena Ostapenko beat Iga Swiatek but insisted she didn't want to become the world No 1 that way. On Sunday night, Ostapenko ousted defending US Open champion Swiatek 3-6 6-3 6-1 in the round-of-16.

With that loss, Swiatek lost the world No 1 position for the first time since gaining it in 2022 April. On Monday, new world No 1 Sabalenka defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-3 to reach the US Open quarterfinal. After beating Kasatkina, Sabalenka admitted she felt happy after securing the No 1 spot but also said she felt a bit sad because she wanted to earn it on the court.

Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Sabalenka on watching Swiatek's loss to ostapenko

“I was about to go to sleep in the second set, but it was really interesting to watch.

Okay, I’m going to watch, like, first couple of games just to see the situation. I watched them. I was just like, No, I’m not going to watch it till the end. I went to bed. But I was really curious, like, what’s going on there.

But I push myself so hard to don’t watch the score, just go to bed. I know if I would see the result yesterday, would be really tough to sleep. I was just like, No, I have match tomorrow, I have to focus on that, doesn’t matter.

But, I mean, to be honest, I didn’t want her to lose. I was watching that match and I was just like, C’mon, win it. I was really not like sure, but after some of the upsets, I thought she’s probably going to make it to the final.

I was just thinking I’m going to do everything I can possible and impossible to reach the final and decide everything on court. So I was like, I was sad, but at the same time I have to be happy because it’s not like she just fell.

All year I’ve been playing well. I put her kind of like under pressure. I was just like sad and happy at the same time. I didn’t want to become world No 1 like this. I want a battle for this," Sabalenka said of Swiatek's loss to Ostapenko.

Aryna Sabalenka Iga Swiatek Jelena Ostapenko