The new queen of the women's circuit, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, said she was "super motivated" at the idea of defending her place as world number one on Friday, before the start of the WTA 1000 tournament in Beijing.
“It’s good to have achieved this goal,” said the 25-year-old, who dethroned Poland’s Iga Swiatek in September. “But there is another, and I am super motivated,” she added, in response to a question from AFP. The challenge is “to finish the year as world number one and to stay there as long as possible,” explained the Belarusian. “My goal here in Beijing is to play my best tennis,” she said.
Although beaten in the final of the US Open by the American Coco Gauff in early September, Sabalenka had collected enough points to overtake Swiatek, who had been at the top of the rankings for almost a year and a half. Shortly after this declaration, the Belarusian recorded good news with the defeat of her Polish rival in the quarters of the WTA 500 tournament in Tokyo. The two champions will meet again from this weekend in Beijing, where the women's circuit is making its comeback after the long Covid hiatus but also the suspension of all Chinese tournaments by the WTA in support of Peng Shuai.