'I'm Not Thinking About Her': Swiatek Denies Obsession With Rival Sabalenka

'I'm Not Thinking About Her': Swiatek Denies Obsession With Rival Sabalenka

by Zachary Wimer

Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka are two of the best tennis players on the WTA Tour, and they're enjoying a healthy rivalry.

With every match they play, the rivalry gets bigger, which is great for tennis because every sport benefits from rivalries. The best part is that it's quite healthy because there is nothing there outside of competitive respect.

Both have credited each other with inspiring the other, just pushing them to become better players, and it's clearly evident from their matches.

They're spectacular, and whoever wins has to go above a notch to really secure it. That's what happened in their most recent match at the Madrid Open, in which Swiatek won.

Speaking with the WTA media team after the Madrid Open final, Swiatek admitted that she's not using Sabalenka as fuel, at least not in the way the Belarusian does it.

"Well, I wouldn't say I have this vision like she has. I'm not thinking about her when I'm practicing or something. It's more that I know that the competition is big. And I know if I'm gonna stop for a while, I might be pushed out, you know?"

Sabalenka was on record about motivating herself by wanting to dethrone Swiatek, but the Polish player doesn't really think that way. It makes sense because she's world number one; there is nobody ahead of her, but she's certainly paying attention.

She confirmed that she does think about previous matches when working on something, and it showed also in the Madrid Open final this year, as she lost a match against the same opponent on the same court only 12 months ago.

"I had this kind of thing actually in the Rome 2022 final against Ons...Physically, I was, like, 'Oh my god!' I was so tired. Rallies were long. Ons was playing a pretty tricky game, you had to run different directions and everything."

"So that game, for the next few years when I was doing the worst practices on the court or airbike or whatever and I was dying, I was actually thinking about that game. So, this was that kind of moment that Aryna may be talking about. But I didn't have that with her. It's more like you feel competition is big, and we have to push for more."


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