This year has been very good for the Belarusian so far. January seems to be her month because she won both of her Grand Slam trophies in that month. Both were Australian Open trophies, the second of which happened recently.
She's now up to two major trophies, half of what Osaka has at 4, and it's not something that's too surprising for the Japanese player. Speaking to The National in Abu Dhabi, Osaka admitted that Sabalenka had 'Grand Slam Champion' written all over her.
"I’ve always felt like she was a player that people didn’t really want to play. And that’s something that’s very powerful. I’m not really surprised by any of this."
"I feel like there’s players that people talk about and when you see them achieve their potential, it’s not surprising. It’s just kind of more of a time can only tell moment."
The Belarusian is on a deserved break following that success as she withdrew from the Qatar Open, but to Osaka, her overall demeanor also changed.
She plays a very aggressive, almost angry style of tennis but is actually a very bubbly person. Osaka noted how she was even more happy than before, which makes sense. Life is going great for her right now.
"The biggest difference that I’ve seen since coming back on tour, granted I have my headphones off now, it’s just she has a different energy around her. I see her smiling more, so that’s really nice and it’s really just cool to see."
Sabalenka couldn't add a second Grand Slam trophy last year, even though she came close in New York. We'll see if she can win more than one this year.