Swiatek Thanks Rival Sabalenka For 'Making Me Better Player' After Epic Madrid Final

Swiatek Thanks Rival Sabalenka For 'Making Me Better Player' After Epic Madrid Final

by Zachary Wimer

Iga Swiatek laid on the ground after winning the 2024 Madrid Open, which showed how relieved she felt after finally beating Aryna Sabalenka.

It was yet another brutal final between the two best players on the WTA Tour. We saw three sets once more and a battle that lasted well over three hours, with the Polish player ultimately winning and lifting the trophy.

Her celebration was one typical of players winning Grand Slams, but it shows just how much it meant to her. After the match, Swiatek spoke fondly about Sabalenka, whom she described as someone who motivates her to get better and become a better player.

Rivals in tennis, and in sports in general, matter because they force athletes to go above and beyond to beat the other player. This is a beautiful rivalry that's growing by the day.

"Aryna.. to many more finals.. it’s always a challenge playing you. Thanks for motivating me and forcing me to be a better player. I want to thank my team. I’ve had pretty nice speeches before so I don’t know what else to say to make it feel special. But I think what you saw on court was pretty special anyway."

The second part of her speech was about her team, which stayed with her since the beginning. They are doing tremendous work, and a lot more work is expected of them because this summer will be brutal and busy for the Pole, who has high ambitions.

"Thank you for sticking with me through the ups and downs. For understanding and motivating me.. because without you I wouldn’t be here… I hope we’re gonna continue progressing. That’s the most important thing at the end. I want to thank my family who’s watching."

Up next for both players will be the Italian Open in Rome, which is another WTA 1000 tournament, and a tournament where both will be among the favourites again.


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