Aryna Sabalenka reveals her big ambition after US Open heartbreak

Aryna Sabalenka after US Open final Credit: Alamy
Aryna Sabalenka after US Open final Credit: Alamy

On the back of losing the US Open final, Aryna Sabalenka could be forgiven for feeling downcast, but the soon-to-be world No 1 was “not super depressed” as she opened up about her major goal for the remainder of the 2023 season.

Sabalenka edged the favourite stakes ahead of the showpiece clash against Coco Gauff on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday and for the first part of the match it looked like she would run away with the trophy.

However, the Belarusian lost her way as the American upped her game and in the end it was Gauff who came away with the 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory to secure her maiden Grand Slam title at the age of 19.

Losing a major final is always disappointing, but Sabalenka has plenty of reason to be upbeat after the defeat as she will replace Iga Swiatek at the top of the WTA Rankings when it is updated on Monday.

That achievement has come on the back of a brilliant 2023 campaign as she won her own maiden major at the beginning of the year when she lifted the Australian Open trophy. The 25-year-old also won the Madrid Open and the Adelaide International and finished runner-up at Indian Wells and Stuttgart.

Those results have helped her to usurp Swiatek, something which didn’t seem possible a few months ago.

Despite her latest achievement, Sabalenka says the job is not done as she wants to finish the year at No 1.

“I’m not super depressed right now. I’m definitely going for a drink tonight if I’m allowed to say that. We are athletes and sometimes we’re drinking, but not much.

“But becoming in a world No 1, it’s a huge improvement and achievement, actually. And I’m really proud of myself that all those years I’ve been working so hard helped me to become world No 1. For me, it’s more about end the year as world No 1, not just like become world No 1 and then next week you’re second.

“It’s good that I can say that I’ve been world No 1, but I really would like to finish the year as world No 1. And that’s why I’m still positive and I’m still motivated.”

She added: “There’s some positive things I’m leaving [with], some not really positive, but it’s okay. It’s a process. We’re all learning. And I guess it’s a lesson for me I will learn and then come back stronger.”

WATCH: Aryna Sabalenka dumps her racket in the garbage bin after US Open final defeat

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