World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka is attempting to become the first back-to-back Australian Open Champion since her compatriot Victoria Azarenka won it in 2012 and 2013. Here are three things fans may now know about the 25-year-old Belarusian, Aryna Sabalenka.
In the Netflix docuseries Break Point, Sabalenka talks about losing her father suddenly in November 2019. Sergey was only 43 years old, and he had big dreams for his daughter. He wanted her to be World No. 1, an accomplishment she achieved in September 2023. Her dad also dreamt that she would win two Grand Slams before she turned 26. Sabalenka turns 26 on May 5 so this is her last opportunity to fulfill that goal. As is the case with tragic and traumatic events, it changes people, and Sabalenka is no exception. She appreciates the journey now more than ever and does not take the losses or errors as hard as she once did.
Sabalenka has so much power and intensity on the court, but she is a fun-loving person off-court. The tiger tattoo on her left arm is symbolic of her fierce and determined personality, but fans are starting to see her lighter side since she won her maiden Grand Slam last year. She frequently posts social media videos where she is dancing, laughing, and having fun during training with her team.
Aryna Sabalenka gave up a successful doubles career to pursue singles.
Sabalenka paired with Elise Mertens to win two Grand Slam ladies doubles titles, the 2019 US Open and the 2021 Australian Open. The pair was the World No. 1 team in February 2021. She gave up doubles to pursue singles success. Only a select few athletes can win in both disciplines consistently, Serena Williams, who is one of Sabalenka's idols was one of them. For this reason, Sabalenka consciously pivoted away from doubles to achieve singles goals.