Aryna Sabalenka - Roland Garros 2024

Aryna Sabalenka details ‘really rare’ injury that has left her ‘struggling’ ahead of Wimbledon

Aryna Sabalenka has revealed her recent injury struggles, with the two-time major winner ‘not 100% ready’ for Wimbledon.

Sabalenka retired from a WTA Tour match for the first time in her career last week at the Berlin Open, against Anna Kalinskaya with a shoulder injury.

And when speaking in her pre-tournament Wimbledon press conference, Sabalenka admitted that there is a possibility that she does play at the grass court major.

“We’re doing everything we can with my team to make sure I’ll be able to play my first match here,” said Sabalenka. “I’m not 100% ready.”

When continuing to detail the injury, Sabalenka explained that it was predominantly affecting her serve, “It’s teres major. I call it just shoulder injury. It’s really a specific injury, and it’s really a rare one. Probably I’m just the second or the third tennis player who injured that muscle. [It’s] a very frustrating one.”

The world No.3 continued, “The most annoying thing is that I can do anything. I can practice, I can hit my groundstrokes. I’m struggling with serving. That’s really annoying.

“You don’t feel like you’re injured. If you give me some weights, I’m going to go lift some weights. But if you tell me to serve, I’m going to go through pain. We did an MRI, we did everything. We did a lot of rehab, a lot of treatments.”

Despite the recent setbacks, Sabalenka declared that she still feels hopeful ahead of Wimbledon, “I still have my hopes. As someone who [has] been fighting through a lot of different pains in the past months, I still have my hopes.”

Sabalenka is set to begin her Wimbledon campaign against American Emina Bektas tomorrow.

Inside the baseline…

Injury struggles are not something that we are used to discussing with Aryna Sabalenka, something that she also noted in her press conference. However, it is big that she has retired from her first ever match in Berlin and admitted that even Wimbledon could be in doubt. There is also the possibility that it is slightly psychological to lower expectations for her Wimbledon campaign.

READ NEXT: Novak Djokovic reveals that he is ‘pain free’ ahead of Wimbledon

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.