Aryna Sabalenka will miss an upcoming major tournament

The winner of the Australian Open decided to skip the Qatar Open in Doha, to recover from the efforts of Melbourne

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Aryna Sabalenka will miss an upcoming major tournament
© Kelly Defina / Stringer Getty Images Sport

The victory at the Australian Open 2024 came at the end of a tournament dominated from start to finish, which however drained Aryna Sabalenka of a lot of psycho-physical energy.

Precisely to recover energy lost at the Melbourne Fortnight, the Belarusian tennis player decided to skip the Qatar Open, which will be played in Doha starting from Sunday 11 February 2024 at the International Tennis and Squash Complex.

Jose Morgado also confirmed Sabalenka's withdrawal from Doha:

A decision that echoes that of 2023. Last season too, in fact, following her victory in Australia, Sabalenka decided to give up the WTA 1000 tournament in Doha, an event that she won in 2020.

Despite the absence of the Australian Open champion, there will be many tennis stars in Doha, including WTA No.1 Iga Swiatek. Not only that, because Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina and Ons Jabeur will also participate in the tournament.

Sabalenka on managing pressure: "Difficult if you are emotional"

After winning her first Major on Rod Laver Arena in 2023, the Belarusian saw the two semi-finals played at the Roland Garros and Wimbledon and the final played at the US Open go away under the weight of tension. Aryna fought back and achieved her second Slam success at the 2024 Australian Open without dropping a single set along the way.

Even in the final tournament, when the tension could have played a bad joke on her, the 25-year-old from Minsk controlled every phase of the match with great personality.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Kelly Defina / Stringer Getty Images Sport

While taking part in the usual photo shoot in Melbourne with the Australian Open cup, Sabalenka talked about the difficulties of dealing with pressure, especially if she is an emotional person.

"I'm super happy that I managed to win my second Slam. I really hope I can build my tennis, improve and keep winning. I'm a more open person now. I'm happy to have built some important friendships on the Tour, like the one with Paula Badosa. Before, I was closed and afraid to open up. I can't ignore the fact that I'm really proud to have taken this step. I have this control over myself, but it hasn't been easy.

It's difficult to improve in this respect when you are such an emotional person and you get emotional all the time. You have to work hard to really have control on the pitch. I love my team, because even after a victory like this they immediately think about how we can improve. There is time to enjoy the titles won, but it's a question of balance," she explained.

Aryna Sabalenka Australian Open Qatar Open