Tennis-Sabalenka craving success in Dubai on heels of Melbourne triumph

By Thomson Reuters Feb 19, 2024 | 12:16 AM

(Reuters) – Aryna Sabalenka said it is in her nature to keep striving for success and that she has become addicted to that winning feeling as the Australian Open champion returns to action at the Dubai Championships this week.

The Belarusian won her second Grand Slam title with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Zheng Qinwen last month, becoming the first woman in 11 years to retain the Melbourne Park crown, and the 25-year-old said there is no chance she will rest on her laurels.

“My mindset is to keep doing what I’m doing, keep fighting, keep working. After my career, to look back and think, ‘whoa, I was able to achieve that. That’s crazy,'” said Sabalenka, who begins her Dubai campaign on Tuesday against Donna Vekic.

“I’m not the type person that’s going to win something and stop. I’m addicted to wins.

“I feel like it’s just something in my blood and I keep doing, keep working and hopefully keep winning.”

Among the most consistent players on the tour, Sabalenka has reached at least the semi-final stage of the previous six Grand Slams and she said the decision to drop her psychologist in 2022 has been a key factor in her progress.

“I feel like no one know better yourself than you,” she said. “That was the best decision to start. It’s tough to say because it’s been long process.

“In the end, the only one thing helping me is just myself, just stop expecting people to fix my problems, start fixing my problems myself. I think that brought much more confidence and much more control.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)