Sabalenka Avoids 'Underestimating' Opponents Despite Being In WTA's 'Big Three'

Sabalenka Avoids 'Underestimating' Opponents Despite Being In WTA's 'Big Three'

by Zachary Wimer

Aryna Sabalenka recently embraced the WTA Big Three nicknames for herself, Iga Swiatek, and Elena Rybakina, but she still doesn't underestimate any rival.

It's been pretty clear that in the past year, a few players have consistently outplayed the rest of the Tour. It's been Swiatek, Sabalenka, and Rybakina, mostly at the top, with some Coco Gauff magic for a few weeks last year.

This year, the WTA's so-called Big Three have been absolutely the best, with Sabalenka winning in Australia, Rybakina winning many other trophies, and Swiatek reminding everybody that she's not going anywhere either.

Even so, ahead of the Italian Open, Sabalenka admitted that she's not underestimating anyone. Despite embracing the WTA Big Three nickname for herself, Rybakina, and Swiatek, the Belarusian fully believes that anybody can beat anybody on the WTA Tour.

"I know we have some rivals, meaning like me, Iga and Elena. We're doing maybe more consistent, play more consistently past years. Maybe last year and this year so far. I would say that in tennis, anybody can beat anybody."

"If you would start thinking like, My level is there, they're somewhere there - how to say - you're not respect them, you underestimate them, and you're kind of like losing it because you're not - how to say - focusing well enough for them. I wouldn't say the level is that far."

For Sabalenka, the approach has always been pretty simple—focus on what she can control, and that's herself. Everything else comes second. She's not really concerned with the ranking because she's all about playing her best tennis each day.

"It's all about being focused, do your thing, not thinking about all these ranking situations, the level is higher than them. I'm focusing on myself and making sure that every time I'm on the court I bring my best tennis and hope that I'll still be there in that top three players."


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