Aryna Sabalenka (2)
-23 years old
-World number two
Intro and last year
In the 2021 Australian Open Aryna Sabalenka took a fourth round loss to Serena Williams, but it was her best result in Melbourne to date. She started that tournament as the seventh seed, so fell short of the predicted quarterfinal. However, alongside Elise Mertens Sabalenka won the women’s doubles. This year Sabalenka starts as one of the favourites to win, world number two, and second seed, predicting an appearance in the final, but she is yet to go beyond a grand slam semifinal in her career.
History at the event
Sabalenka has participated in four Australian Opens, and last year’s edition was her best result in the fourth round.
Her AO record is 5-4, giving a win rate of 56%.
2021 was the young Belarussian’s breakthrough season, she ended the year as world number two, she made two grand slam semifinals (at Wimbledon and the US Open) and won the Australian Open doubles.
She won two titles in 2021, the Madrid Masters and the Abu Dhabi 500.
Sabalenka took on world number one Ash Barty three times last year and won once.
Build up and form
She had a relatively poor end of 2021 at the WTA Finals, losing two of three matches and failing to make the semifinal. Sabalenka started 2022 in Adelaide where she lost in round two (the first round she played) to Kaja Juvan, who is ranked as number 100.
Sabalenka may need more time to build up form.
Young, powerful attacking player, who has been improving constantly and working on her grand slam mentality. These fast courts favour her aggression.
In order to succeed there are some hurdles for Sabalenka, she must rein in her mistakes with mental strength and build form. It may also be difficult to win a slam when she hasn’t been in a final yet.
Sabalenka has the talent to win the championship, let’s not forget that she is world number two, but she needs form and consistency, and at the moment she might not have either.
Best possible: W
Worst possible: 3rd round
Potential route to victory (predicted by seeding):
R1 – Sanders
R2 – Li
R3 – Vondrousova (31)
R4 – Kerber (16)
QF – Swiatek (7)
SF – Muguruza (3)
F – Barty (1)