Aryna Sabalenka and the touching victory for her late father Sergey

The Belarusian dedicated a look to the sky, dedicated to her father, who had just won the Australian Open title

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Aryna Sabalenka and the touching victory for her late father Sergey
© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

"Obviously he's (her father - ed.) my biggest motivation. He's been everything to me. But right now I have my mother and sister who are here with me and I feel like I have to think about them. But I feel that he is always with me. I'm very grateful for everything he's done for me and I think if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be here."

with these words, Aryna Sabalenka dedicated the victory at the Australian Open 2024 to hare late father Sergey.

In the Netflix series Break Point, Sabalenka, who was also unfairly criticized on several occasions for her management of the key moments of the matches, wanted to tell her story.

Sabalenka, in 2019, faced a pain that was difficult to even imagine, due to the passing of her father Sergey. A fundamental person in Aryna's life, she is always ready to listen to her father's advice both on the court and in her personal growth path.

"I believe my story can motivate people and help them find a way out of difficult situations. It's hard to lose a loved one, especially a father. You have to find the motivation to move forward in life."

In the episode dedicated to her, Sabalenka revealed the dream she shared with her father as a child. A dream she turned into reality just yesterday on the Rod Laver Arena by beating Qinwen Zheng in the final.

"We had a dream: to win at least a couple of Slams at 25." Thanks to her title defense at the Australian Open, which also came without dropping a single set, Sabalenka kept her promise. It is therefore no coincidence that after converting the match point the Belarusian looked at the sky and blew a strong kiss upwards.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

"Obviously he's my biggest motivation"

We too often tend to underestimate or not consider the human side of athletes at all. Like any ordinary person, all athletes are called to deal with their own fears and anxieties, with their problems and traumas.

Finding the balance between professional and private life seems like an obvious task, but it almost never is. Taking to the field with the weight of what is happening outside or with your mind populated by negative thoughts always has a consequence.

Aryna Sabalenka Australian Open