A Ladies’s Doubles Champion Says She’s Going Solo

Aryna Sabalenka and her associate, Elise Mertens, received the Australian Open girls’s doubles last, 6-2, 6-3, over Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova on Friday afternoon at Rod Laver Area.

The win will transfer Sabalenka to the No. 1 rating in doubles for the primary time, with Mertens shut behind at No. 2.

However after the title, the second Grand Slam triumph they’ve received collectively, Sabalenka mentioned she would now not play doubles and as a substitute put her “complete give attention to singles,” by which she is ranked seventh.

“I simply need to handle my vitality,” Sabalenka mentioned. “If you exit for doubles, you’re nonetheless there for competing, to place all the pieces you will have. Typically it’s probably not working nicely with me.”

Sabalenka is the one WTA or ATP participant at the moment ranked within the Prime 10 in each singles and doubles. She has been probably the most constant gamers at WTA Tour occasions, the place she has received 9 singles titles. She reeled off 13 straight wins on tour throughout the tip of final season and the start of this one.

However at Grand Slam occasions Sabalenka has fallen far wanting her expectations. She has solely reached even the fourth spherical in singles twice in 13 essential draw appearances, together with at this Australian Open, the place she misplaced, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, to Serena Williams.

“It was an ideal match towards Serena — I’m probably not pleased with the tip of the primary and third set. I believe I might do it higher — however I believe it was nice expertise,” Sabalenka mentioned Friday. “It was an ideal lesson.

“I believe I’m getting higher on the Grand Slams facet of the outcomes,” she added. “I simply need to stick with it. I simply need to attempt to do one thing else to ensure I enhance my singles.”

Mertens, who’s ranked sixteenth in singles, voiced no objection to Sabalenka’s breaking apart their dominant crew.

“It’s her choice, I actually respect that,” Mertens mentioned. “Doubles takes some vitality away, that’s true. Then again, for me, I identical to to play matches.

“I imply, she will positively attempt to we’ll see,” Mertens added. “If she nonetheless likes to play doubles, I’m right here.”

Sabalenka mentioned that not prioritizing doubles had been one of many keys to her success within the self-discipline.

“From my facet, I might say I used to be fairly relaxed on doubles,” Sabalenka mentioned. “I used to be doing no matter I need to. I didn’t care about successful or dropping.”

“She didn’t care about me,” Mertens interjected with amusing.

Sabalenka mentioned that although she was extra relaxed, being in a second aggressive atmosphere was nonetheless taxing.

“I do know that doubles, it’s not that tough, you’re not shifting that a lot,” she mentioned. “It nonetheless takes quite a lot of vitality. I simply need to put it aside for singles. I simply need to strive one thing completely different this yr and see what occurs on the Grand Slams.”

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