After failing to get past a Grand Slam semi-final for the third time in her career on Thursday at the U.S. Open, Aryna Sabalenka was clearly dejected. Although the Belarusian was honest, she made a pledge to come back stronger the next time.
Sabalenka, a former world number two, is 24 years old. She has won 10 WTA Tour titles and advanced to back-to-back major semifinals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The world number one Iga Swiatek defeated her 3-6 6-1 6-4 at Flushing Meadows despite twice being up a break of serve in the decisive set. She lost both of those matches in three sets.
“Actually, right now I don’t feel that way, but my team keeps telling me that,” said Sabalenka, when asked if she felt prouder than her previous two semi-final defeats.
“I have to be proud of myself, what I have done in the last months, I would say. But I don’t feel that way. I feel like in these three semi-finals I had so much opportunities and I didn’t use it”, she added.
And I guess I’m trying to think that everything happens for a reason, and I guess it just make me really stronger. I guess, like, in the next semi-final, I will be much stronger as a player,” she said.
The powerfully built Sabalenka can defeat anyone on her day, but she frequently struggles with control. She has one of the strongest serves in the game and is frequently unmatched from behind the baseline with her powerful groundstrokes.
Sabalenka, who was forced to skip Wimbledon owing to a ban on Russian and Belarusian players, won the first set in all three losses at majors this season. She also approached the 21-year-old Pole for the fourth time in 2022.
“She was playing aggressively, and I was trying to stay in the game, which was my mistake, I think. I should just go for it,” Sabalenka said of Thursday’s loss to Swiatek.