On Monday, September 4th, Aryna Sabalenka woke up as the aspiring new WTA No.1. Sabalenka is now certain to debut at the top of the WTA rankings after the US Open thanks to Iga Swiatek’s loss to Jelena Ostapenko shortly before midnight on Sunday night.
Aryna revealed she received several well wishes after breaking into the top spot, but that Novak Djokovic sent the funniest one. She said, “The funniest 1 was from Djokovic because he also will be world No.1 after (the) US Open.” After the US Open, Djokovic is also going to surpass Carlos Alcaraz and reclaim the top spot in the world.
Aryna Sabalenka says Novak Djokovic congratulated her on becoming world #1:
“The funniest 1 was from Djokovic. Bc he also will be world #1 after US Open. Someone mentioned us with funny sunglasses & he just sent me ‘Smile if you’ll become world #1.’ It was the funniest one” ❤️ pic.twitter.com/uzzfK122AB
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 5, 2023
Djokovic sent her a congratulatory message saying smile if you are going to become world no. 1, Sabalenka revealed. Both the world no. 1s also shared a fist bump at the tour. Sabalenka added that she is less concerned with her ranking and more intent on capturing the second Grand Slam championship of the year.
Due to her easy victory against Daria Kasatkina on Monday, the 25-year-old has advanced to the quarterfinal in New York. To advance to the semifinals, she will next compete against Qinwen Zheng of China. She concluded by saying that the tournament is more important for her right now. And her main focus is winning the US Open.
Aryna Sabalenka wasn’t happy with the way she got the world no. 1 spot
Sabalenka also gave Swiatek, the departing world No.1, compliments before she ascended to the top of the WTA rankings. She commended Iga for holding the spot No.1 for so long and called her ‘unbelievable.’ For 75 weeks, including this one, the Pole has held onto the distinction.
Aryna went on to claim how happy she is to have Iga on tour as it helps her motivate and push herself to perform her best. The 25-year-old, who also reached the top of the doubles rankings in 2021, will become the 29th woman to win the WTA World No. 1 ranking and just the eighth person to achieve so throughout their career.
We will have a brand new World Number one on monday!
☝️ Aryna Sabalenka ☝️
The 29th World No.1 of WTA history. pic.twitter.com/3MR7r9g2Kv
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) September 4, 2023
Sabalenka did acknowledge, however, that she “wanted to battle” for first place. The manner in which the Belarussian rose to the top didn’t satisfy her. “I didn’t want to become world no.1 like this,” she said.
She concluded by saying how she looks forward to facing Swaitk more on tour and believes their clashes may produce one of the best tennis games. Sabalenka said, “I feel like it’s great that we’re playing great this year, we’re pushing each other.”
With the way Sabalenka is currently rising on the top of her game, it seems like she will keep the world’s number one spot warm for quite some time. Her resilience and hard work are commendable and will prove to be the perfect rival for Iga Swiatek in the coming era.