Aryna Sabalenka - Australian Open 2024

Aryna Sabalenka ‘is the most consistent player in the world’ claims former No.1

Aryna Sabalenka became the first woman to defend the Australian Open singles title since 2013 last week, and she has now been labelled ‘the most bankable player on Earth’ by former No.1 Andy Roddick.

Sabalenka was bidding to become the first woman to retain the Melbourne major since compatriot Victoria Azarenka, and she did just that after beating first-time finalist Qinwen Zheng.

Zheng reached the final after coming through a depleted top half, which saw world No.1 Iga Swiatek facing her earliest defeat at a hardcourt major since 2020.

And Roddick has compared the two players, praising Sabalenka’s Grand Slam consistency, “Swiatek feels like the safest player, but you look back at the results, and now I don’t know that that’s true… six major semi-finals in a row for Sabalenka.”

The American continued, “Sabalenka is always there. I let past reputation get in the way of what was right in front of my eyeballs. Sabalenka is the most consistent woman player in the world right now and I don’t think it’s up for debate at this point.

“I think Swiatek is able to put a lot of points on the board, in clusters, she probably has the best upside where she goes through people and wins World Tour Finals zero and one. When she gets on a roll, the confidence comes in bunches. But she’s susceptible, as she’s proven, early on in these events. Sabalenka is the most bankable player on Earth right now. Tell me why I’m wrong.”

Despite Roddick labelling Sabalenka as more consistent, Swiatek currently sits 865 points ahead of the Belarusian.

However, Swiatek is set to lose a total of 1,055 points over the next four weeks from winning the title in Doha and being runner-up in Dubai last year, whereas Sabalenka will only drop 190 points putting them on a level playing field heading into the Middle Eastern swing.

Inside the baseline…

Iga Swiatek is justifiably the world No.1, having collated the most points on the WTA Tour from the past 12 months, however it does feel as though there is very little between the Pole and Sabalenka. The Middle Eastern swing should be very interesting indeed, as Sabalenka has a lot less to lose, but Swiatek tends to fare very well in this part of the year.

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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.