Aryna Sabalenka, 25, admits she feels "goosebumps" every time she gets announced as the world No 1 on the court. Following Iga Swiatek's US Open round-of-16 loss, Sabalenka learned she would be replacing the Pole at the top spot.
After the US Open, Sabalenka officially reached the world No 1 position for the first time in her career on September 11th. Since then, there haven't been any changes at the top spot in women's tennis. Following Sabalenka 6-2 3-6 6-3 win over Elena Rybakina at the WTA Finals, the Belarusian made a candid admission about how she feels about the No 1 ranking.
"When they call No 1 in the world I always feel these goosebumps. It's been a dream since, I don't even remember since when. I don't know, it's just unbelievable that I was able to become world No 1 and be one of those legends who was in that list you know.
To be in that list, that's just something unbelievable," Sabalenka said on the court after beating Rybakina.
Sabalenka accomplished her two biggest goals in 2023
Last year, Sabalenka had a challenging season that was full of ups and downs.
After struggling heavily with her service throughout 2022, Sabalenka made a big effort to fix those woes. At the start of the 2023 season, Sabalenka looked like a completely rejuvenated player. After winning Adelaide in her first tournament of the season, Sabalenka also became a Grand Slam champion at the Australian Open after beating Rybakina in a high-quality three-set final.
Following her Australian Open win and accomplishing her goal of lifting a Major title, Sabalenka highlighted that reaching the world No 1 ranking was the next dream she wanted to accomplish. Sabalenka was ranked at No 2 in the world for seven consecutive months before finally overtaking Swiatek at the top spot in September. For Sabalenka, it has undoubtedly been an outstanding 2023 season.