'Parents Did Not Show Up For Training': Sabalenka's Former Coach Highlights Early Struggles

'Parents Did Not Show Up For Training': Sabalenka's Former Coach Highlights Early Struggles

by Alex Waite

Aryna Sabalenka's former coach, Maciej Domka, has explained how issues throughout the Belarusian's childhood helped her to develop into the player she is today.

Sabalenka made a strong start to the 2024 season as she started her campaign with a run to the Brisbane International final before losing to Elena Rybakina.

The Belarusian player went one step further at the Australian Open in January as she successfully defended her title at Melbourne Park without dropping a set.

The current world number two is starting to show the consistency and determination of an elite player, especially after reaching the final or winning in three of her last five Grand Slams.

One former coach who is not surprised by the Belarusian's recent progress is former coach Domka, who coached her back when she was a teenager and the former Polish player explained to Sport.pl, how a young Sabalenka wanted to succeed.

"No, parents did not show up for training. From what I know, her dad had some legal issues. Aryna was alone in all this. I have the impression that this was also her internal motivation, pushing her forward."

"She wanted to stand out at all costs. It could be read that dad had problems and she wanted to help and start earning money."

Other than Sabalenka's intense motivation to succeed as a professional tennis player was her unique ground stroke ability. A key component of the 25-year-old's game is hard-hitting from the baseline - a trait that Domka noticed in Sabalenka from a young age due to her aggression.

"There was a lot of anger in her. She converted all her negative energy into strokes. Plus the incredible intensity in training that I have already mentioned. Her power to hit the ball was gigantic, full power in every play. And so she was able to train from Monday to Saturday."


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