June 21, 2024
Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina comparison

Aryna Sabalenka has argued her rivalries with Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina are “not about surface” and feels each match between the trio comes down to a “couple of key moments.”
The two-time Australian Open winner assessed, though, that Swiatek is “much better” than her on clay, Rybakina is the best on grass, while giving herself the edge on hard courts.

Swiatek, Sabalenka and Rybakina have been the three leading players in women’s tennis of the 2024 season to date and are currently the clear top three in the Race to the WTA Finals.
Sabalenka won the year’s first Grand Slam at the Australian Open, while Swiatek has claimed three WTA 1000 titles and Rybakina has triumphed at three WTA 500 events.

At the Madrid Open last week, Sabalenka overcame Rybakina 1-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) in a pulsating semi-final, before falling 5-7, 6-4, 6-7(7) to Swiatek in a thrilling final.

The trio are all set to compete at the 2024 Italian Open, which got underway on Tuesday. Rybakina is the defending champion in Rome; Swiatek is looking to add to the two titles she won in 2021 and 2022; while Sabalenka is seeking her first crown at the WTA 1000 event.

During her pre-tournament press conference in Rome, Sabalenka was asked if she felt the difference between the trio is determined by the playing surface.
“Well, I mean, obviously Iga is much better on clay than me, for example. I would say Elena is better on grass. I’m maybe a little bit better on hard court,” said the Belarusian.

“At the same time, I cannot say that it’s all about the surface. I mean, as the time shows, I can beat them on clay, on hard, on grass. It’s not about the surface, I would say. It’s about, honestly in each match, couple of key moments where, like, probably she played better.

“For example, last match with Iga, I wouldn’t say on those important points I did something wrong, it’s just I was doing the right thing, but she was doing it better little bit. It’s just about little things.

“Yeah, it’s not about the surface. It’s a process. You learn from that little mistakes you made during the match, then you go and work on them, you try better next time. It’s just little improvements, like little percentage better every day. Hope for the better result.”
The world No 2 also addressed a question about her rivalry with Swiatek and whether she and the Pole were beginning to separate themselves from their other rivals.

“I don’t know, it’s tough to say. I mean, I’m not trying to focus on that honestly. I know we have some rivals, meaning like me, Iga and Elena. We’re doing maybe more consistent, play more consistently past years. Maybe last year and this year so far,” said Sabalenka.

“I would say that in tennis, anybody can beat anybody. If you would start thinking like, ‘My level is there, they’re somewhere there’ – how to say – you’re not respecting them, you underestimate them, and you’re kind of like losing it because you’re not – how to say – focusing well enough for them.

“I wouldn’t say the level is that far. It’s all about being focused, do your thing, not thinking about all these ranking situations, the level is higher than them.
“I’m focusing on myself and making sure that every time I’m on the court I bring my best tennis and hope that I’ll still be there in that top three players, yeah. Yeah, that’s it.”

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