Sabalenka Wimbledon 2021

‘I have finally broken this wall,’ teary eyed Sabalenka makes breakthrough

Aryna Sabalenka admitted to ‘almost crying’ in the final game of her fourth round encounter after it hit home that she would appear in her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final.

The No 2 seed battled past Elena Rybakina in three sets to mark arguably the biggest win of her career, sending the Belarusian into her first quarter-final at any of the four Majors.

Serving for the match at 5-3 in the decider and nearing a breakthrough in her 15th Grand Slam main-draw appearance, the 23-year-old conceded the occasion almost got the better of her.

“In the last game when I was up 30-0 I was almost crying because, on that moment I felt like everything is going well, I kind of few points from my first personal goal in the Grand Slams,” said Sabalenka, who had lost her two previous fourth-round encounters.

“But then I cooled down and understand this is not the final goal, there is a match tomorrow, and this is not the moment where I can cry. I kind of hold the breath for a second, then I was smiling.

“Of course I’m really happy. But like I said before, this is not my final goal. I’m trying to be happy but at the same time be focused and be ready for the next one because it’s also not easy match.

“But of course I’m really happy I finally broke this wall. I’m in the quarterfinals. Really looking forward for the next match. Hopefully I can keep going.”

Sabalenka will now face a tough test against Tunisian star Ons Jabeur in the quarter-final on Tuesday.

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.