While it might seem like a pretty laughable take, given the strength of the competition, it's not. First of all, Sabalenka did win one Grand Slam, and it was the first one in the calendar - the Australian Open.
It showed a new Sabalenka, which we didn't see in 2022, and it was a pretty strong one. She would keep the level high for much of the year, which secured her the number one rank at the end of summer, though she didn't hold it.
A superb finish by Iga Swiatek snatched away the number one rank from Sabalenka. So she was quite consistent this year, but how close was she actually to a calendar Grand Slam? Well, let's see.
After winning the Australian Open, Sabalenka was playing pretty well at Roland Garros. She faced Muchova in the semi-final and served for the match but then lost it.
The reason why Aryna Sabalenka is the player of the year that she has a small edge over Iga Swiatek, she could’ve won all four slams [in 2023]. She won the Australian Open and she was 5-2 in the third set against Karolina Muchova [French Open]. Until then, she was No. 1 in leading wins on tour, she had won by far the most matches until then and it did kind of break her.
She would have had a chance had won the match and gone to the final. After all, Muchova was up a break on Swiatek in the final set of that final and could have won that match, and there is no reason to believe that Sabalenka couldn't have won that match.
Wimbledon is an interesting one. She was in the semi-final once again and was on the verge of winning, holding a break in the second set after winning the first, but once again couldn't finish.
The US Open was the closest she was to winning another one, as she was up a set on Gauff before the American turned it around. And that's why the former German player talked about her on the latest episode of the Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast.
Then again, semifinals at Wimbledon, she should have won that match against Ons Jabeur too. She was up a set and had break points, multiple break points, the momentum was completely on her side, lost that match. The same thing happened at the final of the US Open when she was up a set and the momentum was completely on her side to beat Coco.