Sabalenka made a strong start to the US Open final but then everything fell apart for the Belarusian.
Aryna Sabalenka blamed her usual demons and woes following her US Open final loss, suggesting she was again her worst enemy on the court. On Saturday, No 2 seed Sabalenka made a very impressive start to the US Open final as she won the first set 6-2 against Coco Gauff.
But then, Sabalenka missed out on two consecutive break points in the first game of the second set. From that moment on, nothing was the same as Gauff went on to win 2-6 6-3 6-2.
Earlier this year, Sabalenka became a Grand Slam champion at the Australian Open.
In the next two Grand Slams, Sabalenka blew a lead against Karolina Muchova in the French Open semifinal and the Belarus also blew a big lead in the Wimbledon semifinal against Ons Jabeur.
Sabalenka: I played against myself again
“Well, I will say that in the first set I was dealing with my emotions quite good.
I was focused on myself, not on the crowd or the way she move. Yeah, I mean, definitely she was moving just unbelievable today. I mean, the good news is that it’s me against me. The bad one is that I’m still having these issues playing against myself, I would say (smiling).
But it’s okay. I’ll work harder so next time I’m not going to get even a little bit tired on court, and so I’ll be better, yeah. It’s a combination of everything. But I would say that today was more because of me. Like, that is, not the whole match, but, like, there was key moments in the second set which the one I lost, I mean, the moments I lost, and those moments helped her to turn around the game.
Afterwards, it was just, like, of course her unbelievable defending game. But, like, I would say that just because of that, like, key moments in the second set where it was more about me than her, I lost this match,” Sabalenka said after the match.