September 29, 2023

World No.1 Sabalenka ‘super motivated’ to remain on top

World No.1 Sabalenka ‘super motivated’ to remain on top


Newly crowned world number one Aryna Sabalenka said Friday she is “super motivated” to finish the year in top spot as she prepares to compete in the China Open in Beijing.

The Belarusian lost the US Open Final to homegrown talent Coco Gauff this month but has found succour in rising to the summit of the rankings for the first time.

But the 25-year-old is not content to stop there.

“It’s also about finishing the year as world number one and staying there as long as (I) can,” Sabalenka said in response to a question from AFP.

“It’s good that I was able to achieve this goal, but there’s another goal and so I’m super motivated right now,” she said.

“The expectation here in Beijing is to bring my best tennis and do everything I can on court.”

The China Open is being held for the first time since 2019 after Beijing abandoned its stringent zero-Covid policy.

The women’s tour has also returned to China after its global governing body ended its boycott of the country.

The Women’s Tennis Association had halted its engagements there after Chinese player Peng Shuai accused a top government official of sexual assault in 2021.