Coach Darren Cahill thinks Aryna Sabalenka's willingness to take accountability for her mistakes played a key part in the Belarusian elevating her game to a new level and accomplishing major success in 2023. Sabalenka, 25, became a Grand Slam champion earlier this year after beating Elena Rybakina in the Australian Open final.
After becoming a Slam champion, Sabalenka highlighted there was another major goal she wanted to accomplish in 2023 - reach the world No 1 ranking. After spending seven consecutive months ranked at No 2, Sabalenka overtook Iga Swiatek from the world No 1 spot after the US Open.
"While she's had good coaching, the real reason she's been able to step up is she is taking matters into her own hands and she's taken responsibility for everything. She isn't blaming anyone for anything. If she serves a double fault, 'My fault.
No, I gotta fix that. I've gotta get out on the practice courts and work out why I'm serving these double faults' She works incredibly hard off the court. She pushed herself to be a much better athlete," Cahill said of Sabalenka on the Advantage Connors podcast.
Cahill on Sabalenka reaching the world No 1 ranking
Cahill, who worked with Simona Halep in the past and currently works with Jannik Sinner, thought Sabalenka had a better chance of winning a Slam than becoming the world No 1 ranking.
But Sabalenka improved her consistency and she is now is a Slam champion and also the top-ranked player in the women's game. "Everyone always knew she's got incredible weapons, and whether or not she was able to harness those weapons and put them into play time and time again to be consistent enough.
I thought she had a much better chance to win a Major than she did at being the No 1 player in the world. Simply because, the No 1 player in the world is tougher. Fewer players are able to do it, 'cause you need to be consistent over a long period of time," Cahill said of Sabalenka reaching the world No 1 spot.
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