Aryna Sabalenka had clearly admitted that the Grand Slams served as a pressure cooker to her and that in the past she needed a mental coach to help her play a successful game. She says about last Wimbledon that “I actually thought that I will never make it to the second week. We worked a lot with my psychologist and with my coach.” But she made it to the semifinals both at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. It became evident of her stress in this slam warm-up that her performance at Adelaide against Kaja Juvan ranked no. 100 was pure torment.
Everyone has seen Sabalenka when she was playing precision tennis but this wasn’t the time as she made 18 double faults and nearly 50 unforced errors. She definitely was having trouble with her serves and the timing was off. The number two in the world kept trying though to make things right. Sabalenka wasn’t successful at reforming her game while Kaja started getting confident that this match was hers. There weren’t many things that the Belarusian could do right and it was more so a pleasure to get over it and plan her next strategies for the following performances.
Juvan was trailing 2-0 in the first set but went on a tear to push a tiebreak of which she won. The 21-year-old Slovenian felt her tempo improve and lead 3-0 in the second set. It was a done deal for her and she smilingly expressed that “I really enjoyed the first set. I love when matches get tight when it’s competitive…” But on Sabalenka’s side, it was another dreary performance that she wished the win was on her racket instead. “In a couple of key moments, my serve didn’t work well…It is how it is,” she had expressed on her performance back at the U.S. Open against Leylah Fernandez. It seems like the momentum for the Belarusian may be a bit difficult to still kick off a great match. Aryna Sabalenka is just beginning and surely can turn things around to show her successful performances again with upcoming matches and tournaments.