Aryna Sabalenka is already seemingly making Melbourne her new home, but the Belarusian is still battling to be No. 1 on the WTA. She is fresh off her second-straight Australian Open victory and could capture the top ranking again by the end of February, though she will need Iga Swiatek to lose. But according to one tennis commentator, Sabalenka is already the player to beat on the women's tour.
Tin Henman, a former top ten ATP player, spoke with Sky Sports News recently about many subjects (more on that in just a minute), but one of them was about Sabalenka's play. Swiatek has mostly dominated the WTA rankings for nearly two years, though Sabalenka passed her for just a bit of time in 2023. Sabalenka and Swiatek could even take the battle for No. 1 literally to the court as they could face each other at the Dubai Tennis Championships at the end of February.
Henman believes Sabalenka is currently the better player right now, however. He told Sky Sports, "Sabalenka might not be the No. 1 in the world but she is the player to beat. Iga Swiatek has had amazing results and she deserves to be No 1 in the world but with the momentum and confidence Sabalenka has, it's going to take an amazing performance to beat her."
Tim Henman praises Aryna Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur discusses Emma Raducanu's comeback
Sabalenka was not the only player Henman praised, though. He also spoke highly about Emma Raducanu's current comeback. Raducanu won the US Open in 2021 but has mostly struggled with injuries and poor form since. In 2023, Raducanu had surgery on both her wrists and her left ankle and is just now returning to play.
Raducanu started 2024 with a victory and loss at both the ASB Classic and the Australian Open. The more she plays, of course, the better tennis shape she should be in unless she suffers another injury. That is what worries Henman most.
Henman said, "If she can play a lot of matches and tournaments without getting those injuries that break her momentum then irrespective of the result, that would be a huge positive for her because her tennis game is so good. The results will come."
Another player singing the praises of Raducanu is Ons Jabeur. Speaking after defeating Raducanu this week at the Abu Dhabi Open, Jabeur said, "Emma is such an amazing player. I really wish her all the best and I know she can play much better. Emma had an amazing experience at the US Open and everybody followed her. She's had an amazing career."
Most of that is correct, but possibly not the very last part. Raducanu did win a Grand Slam but her career has mostly been disappointing due to injuries. But she is still only 21 years old and hopefully has a lot more opportunities to win another major.