Aryna Sabalenka is comfortably world number two on the rankings and an excellent player at the top of the game.
However, her best results have come this year and they are two semifinals at Wimbledon and the US Open, when she is ranked higher than so many multiple slam winners.
The Belorussian’s success has come through consistency and at smaller events.
Sabalenka admits she struggles with nerves at these big events, and is working with a psychologist to prepare her for them.
“I have been working with a psychologist for a very long time. In fact, if you look at me four years ago and now, I have improved my psychological condition,” she said.
“It seems to me that no psychologist will prepare me for these situations (in Grand Slams). You need to go through it yourself, feel it, get nervous, understand this situation for yourself.
“I’m more than sure that the next semi-final at the Slam I won’t be so nervous. I will act more confidently, I won’t make the stupid errors that I made in important moments in the last semi-final. It’s a matter of experience, you need to go through it. I don’t think a psychologist will be able to prepare for this.”
When asked about her 2021 season, Salabenka replied: “I would go back to my semi-final matches at the US Open and Wimbledon. I would have tried to do everything differently – maybe I would have been less nervous.
“The game was very nervous, and I would have returned to these matches to worry less.”
Sabalenka’s next campaign is the Kremlin cup, a 250 event. In her first event since the US Open, she starts in the second round as first seed against Ajla Tomljanovic.