Following Iga Swiatek’s unexpected exit as the defending champion on Sunday, Aryna Sabalenka will claim the top spot in the world rankings when they are updated next week. Sabalenka who has also reached the quarter-finals of the US Open said, “Reaching the WTA world number one singles ranking is something I’ve dreamed of ever since I was a little girl when I started playing tennis,”
Born to parents Sergey and Yuliya, Aryna picked up the sport at the age of 6 purely by chance when her father accidentally drove her to a tennis court. Her father, Sergey Sabalenka, a former ice hockey player, tragically passed away in 2019 at the age of 43, causing her profound sorrow.
Aryna Sabalenka fulfilled her dad’s wish of becoming world #1.
He passed away in 2019.
“It was unexpected, he was young, he was 43 years old.. I’m just trying to fight bc my dad wanted me to be #1.. I’m doing it for him so that’s what’s helping me be strong right now.”
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 4, 2023
But she somehow managed to overcome her stricken grief on the tennis courts, because her father was the biggest influencer and motivator in shaping her as a player since childhood. After finishing with 3 WTA titles in the 2019 season, she said in one of the media interviews, “I’m just trying to fight because my dad wanted me to be No. 1, doing it for him, so that’s what is helping me to be strong right now.”
Upon securing her inaugural Grand Slam title by defeating Elena Rybakina in the final of the 2023 Australian Open, the Belarusian found herself overwhelmed by emotion, as she took to social media to share heartfelt memories of her father.
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In Sabalenka’s journey to the top of the tennis world, she has not only conquered her competitors on the court but also the weight of personal loss. Her father’s dream of seeing her become no. 1 became her own, serving as a constant source of inspiration. Despite the profound sorrow of his untimely passing, Sabalenka truly channeled her father’s grief into personal strength.
Aryna Sabalenka’s relentless pursuit of excellence
Aryna Sabalenka, the current world No. 2 in tennis, is poised to ascend to the coveted No. 1 spot in the rankings when they are updated on September 11, 2023. With 8746 WTA ranking points (last updated on August 28) under her belt, Sabalenka is set to gain a few more owing to her impressive run in the US Open.
Meanwhile, Iga Swiatek is expected to face a significant drop in her ranking points as she is unable to defend her US Open title. This loss of some 2000 ranking points will pave the way for Sabalenka to secure the top position in women’s tennis, marking a momentous achievement in her tennis career that has seen her achieve remarkable success.
— wta (@WTA) September 4, 2023
Her stats reflect her impressive journey. In the year 2023 alone, Sabalenka has clinched three singles titles, including the Australian Open. showcasing her dominance on the court. Her win-loss record in singles for this year stands at an impressive 44 wins and 10 losses. This includes 21 wins and only 2 losses in Grand Slam tournaments.
Notably, Sabalenka reached her career-high ranking of 2, on August 23, 2021, underlining her consistent excellence in the sport. During her young career, the 25-year-old has already accumulated 13 singles titles and amassed career prize money of $18,044,545. Her overall career win-loss record in singles is an impressive 349 wins against 170 losses, a testament to her enduring success.