Aryna Sabalenka makes admission, sounds off on 'one-time Slam wonder' label in tennis

At this year's Australian Open, Sabalenka lifted her second Grand Slam title.

by Dzevad Mesic
Aryna Sabalenka makes admission, sounds off on 'one-time Slam wonder' label in tennis
© Getty Images Sport - Darrian Traynor

Aryna Sabalenka used the word "sad" to describe the one-Slam wonder label and admitted she is happy to have avoided finishing her career with one Grand Slam title. 

Sabalenka, 25, accomplished her dream of becoming a Grand Slam champion after creating an impressive comeback in the 2023 Australian Open final against Elena Rybakina. In the remainder of 2023, Sabalenka had a couple of more strong Grand Slam results but didn't win any other Slams - she lost the US Open final, while she was a semifinalist at the French Open and Wimbledon.

At the start of the 2024 season, Sabalenka returned to the Australian Open as the defending champion. In Melbourne, Sabalenka continued her series of strong Grand Slam results, successfully defending her title after not losing a single set over two weeks in Melbourne. 

"It's very sad that people call 'one Grand Slam champions' that way. And of course, it was in my head, I didn't want to be a one-time Grand Slam champion," Sabalenka told WTA Insider.

"I'm super happy that I was able to win two Grand Slams. And I really hope that I can keep building my tennis, keep getting better, and then hopefully keep winning."

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Sabalenka's honest admission after winning the Australian Open

Before winning the 2023 Australian Open, Sabalenka had a couple of pretty heartbreaking and devastating losses. Some of those losses were just a product of Sabalenka feeling enormous pressure to deliver at the Grand Slam level.

Following her first Grand Slam win, Sabalenka admitted that she felt an enormous relief to finally win a Major. After defending her Australian Open title, Sabalenka was asked in her press conference if she has been feeling more relaxed and feeling less pressure at the Grand Slam level.

Answering the question, Sabalenka admitted that she thought she would stop caring about certain things after accomplishing her biggest goal. But when she returned to a Grand Slam tournament, she realized the pressure and expectations were still the same because Slams mean the most in tennis. 

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Kelly Defina

In a couple of months, Sabalenka will try to win her first French Open title and her third Grand Slam title.

Aryna Sabalenka Australian Open