Aryna Sabalenka picked ahead of Iga Swiatek for prestigious award after big 2023

In 2023, Sabalenka became a Grand Slam champion and reached the top spot for the first time.

by Dzevad Mesic
Aryna Sabalenka picked ahead of Iga Swiatek for prestigious award after big 2023
© Getty Images Sport - Quinn Rooney

Aryna Sabalenka, 25, has won the ITF World Champion award for the first time, the ITF announced. This past season, Sabalenka won her first Grand Slam tournament, as well as reached the world No 1 position for the first time.

After becoming a Grand Slam champion at the Australian Open, Sabalenka also had deep runs in the remaining three Slams - the Belarusian was runner-up at the US Open, while she lost the semifinals at the French Open and Wimbledon.

When selecting an ITF World Champion, the ITF puts major emphasis on Grand Slam results and international team competitions. Since Sabalenka was the only WTA player to reach at least the semifinal in all four Slams in 2023, the ITF seemingly didn't have a hard choice in naming Sabalenka as the 2023 ITF World Champion.

“2023 has been an incredible season for me and I’m very happy to be named ITF World Champion. From winning my first Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open to reaching world No 1 for the first time, it has been an amazing year.

I’m very grateful to my family, my team and my fans for their support in 2023 and I can’t wait to get back out on court for the new season in January," Sabalenka said in a statement.

Sabalenka hopes for big success at the start of the 2024

Sabalenka, currently ranked at No 2 in the world, is planning to start her 2024 season at the Brisbane International.

After going undefeated in Australia earlier this year, Sabalenka hopes for a similar success when she returns to Australia at the start of the 2024 season. "I’m excited about starting my 2024 Australian season in Brisbane.

Australia holds a special place in my heart after winning my first Grand Slam there. I can’t wait to make my debut at the Brisbane International and play in front of the Queensland tennis fans," Sabalenka announced in late November.

Aryna Sabalenka Iga Swiatek