'Normal To Have A Little Bit Of A Down' After Becoming World No. 1 For Sabalenka

'Normal To Have A Little Bit Of A Down' After Becoming World No. 1 For Sabalenka

by Evita Mueller

Aryna Sabalenka didn't have the best of time in Asia, and it's somewhat expected as most players hit a bit of a wall after becoming world number one.

It's by no means a rule, but there is something about achieving your long-time dream that has a deeply emotional impact on you. It can be rewarding, it can also be draining, but most players find their footing relatively quickly.

Sabalenka played her first event as world number one in China and did okay. She didn't play spectacular tennis, but she played well enough to remind everybody why she became world number one. The lack of results isn't worrying to former player Alex Corretja, who spoke about Sabalenka to Eurosport.

I think you spend so much time thinking and dreaming and practicing and working to become No. 1 that probably once you achieve that, it's normal to have a little bit of a down, a little bit of a relief, a little bit of time to understand what's going on.

What people expect from you, also fans, also yourself from you when you go on the tournaments. How much expectations you have, how much you think you need to play better because you are the best or the No. 1 in the world.

The important point from Corretja's point of view is simply the fact that she didn't play badly. Had she crashed out early and played dreadfully then it would have been a talking point but losing the way she did isn't anything to worry about if you're a fan.

It is different when you lose [in the] first round and you play bad. But if you play and you lose against someone that is very good, that shouldn't be a worrying situation for anyone. Because if you would be, let's say, No. 3 in the world and you're losing the quarters against Rybakina, you won't be surprised. Why should you be surprised because you are the No. 1?


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