She is young, talented and has one of the most promising futures on tour. The Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka could go all the way in the Spanish capital. In the last match on centre court she squared off with the tournament’s biggest surprise package, Russian player Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The world No. 7 showed her opponent no mercy and in one hour and five minutes the match was over (6-2,6-3). The player from Minsk arrived in Madrid for her third campaign at the Mutua Madrid Open, where she had never previously advanced past the first round.
Sabalenka is in the form of her life. The recent winner of the WTA event in Abu Dhabi has not lost a single set in the entire tournament and her serve has only been broken three times in five matches on the Caja Mágica clay.
The fifth seed said after the match that her clay game has improved a lot and that she is very happy about her performance in Madrid. Even so, at 23 years of age, she will not rest on her laurels and is showing maturity beyond her years: “in some games I didn’t feel completely OK, but it’s part of the process. My goal is to be physically and mentally prepared to keep improving my game and progressing in my career. Hopefully I keep playing this well in the final”.
There, she will meet world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, recent champion of the Stuttgart and Miami WTA events. “Physically, I have to be prepared for this match and I will do everything I can to be as ready as possible for the final”, said the Belarusian.
The champion of the WTA tournaments in Doha, Ostrava and Linz in 2020 is having fun on the clay and it is showing in her results. “I’m simply enjoying my time on court, the battle and the game. This year in Madrid something has clicked and I’m on the right path”.
Finally, she wanted to send a message to her fans, as “it is thanks to the people that support me that I can achieve my goals. I missed all of this”.
Aryna Sabalenka is bidding to become the first Belarusian player in history to lift the trophy, the only other one to play in the final was her compatriot Victoria Azarenka in 2011 and 2012, but without success.