Aryna Sabalenka has had a stellar season, one that has ensured she ends the year as world no. 1. Where fellow number one contender Iga Swiatek has faltered, the Belarusian has succeeded in closing out matches at crucial junctures.
This knack of winning important matches has seen the Australian Open champion achieve thirteen singles titles and six doubles trophies. In the latest instance, a superlative run in the WTA Finals has seen Aryna repeat a unique feat, achieved by only one other athlete before in women’s tennis.
Sabalenka repeats unique history
Aryna Sabalenka began the 2023 season with a bang when she secured her first and only women’s singles Grand Slam title to date at the Australian Open. Since then, the 25-year-old has appeared in the semifinals of all three majors: Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open.
While that feat had been achieved by many before, what has set the Belarusian apart is her latest semifinal appearance at the WTA Finals in Cancun,Mexico. She achieved that feat when she defeated Kazakh world no. 4 Elena Rybakina 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
It has been 17 years since anyone has appeared in the semifinals of all four majors and the WTA Finals. Belgian former world no. 1 Justine Henin fulfilled that feat in 2006 when she reached the finals of all four Grand slams.
This new record adds another feather to the cap for Aryna Sabalenka. The Belarusian has many achievements to her name, including winning the 2019 US Open and 2021 Australian Open in women’s doubles, securing five WTA 1000 singles titles and being a Cincinnati Open semifinalist.
Now, Aryna Sabalenka faces a familiar foe and fierce competitor in the semifinals of the WTA Finals, where a thriller of magnanimous proportions is on the cards.
WTA Finals semifinals fixtures, date, time
The WTA Finals semifinals in Cancun have a pair of entertaining fixtures to witness for fans of tennis. Four of the top five seeds will compete in the matches, with only number four seed Elena Rybakina missing from the list.
In the first semifinal, no. 3 seed Coco Gauff will face no. 5 seed Jessica Pegula on Sunday, November 4, 2023, at 3:30 PM BST.
In the second semifinal, No. 1 seed Aryna Sabalenka will take on No. 2 seed Iga Swiatek on Sunday, November 4, 2023, at 4:45 PM BST.
Both matches are set to take place at the Estadio Paradisus Stadium on the same day, which means that based on the result of the first game, the second match could either be preponed or delayed.
“At the US Open, I didn’t want her[Swiatek] to lose that match. I really wanted to play against her to decide who is the [World No. 1],” Sabalenka said before their clash.
Being the women’s equivalent of the men’s Nitto ATP Finals, the event is a big draw in the WTA circuit and the winner will take home a whopping $9,000,000 this year.
What are your opinions on Aryna Sabalenka’s new record made at the WTA Finals? How will she fare against Iga Swiatek? Let us know in the comments section below.