Aryna Sabalenka Stuttgart 2021

Sabalenka aims to heap ‘less pressure on Slams’ starting at French Open

Aryna Sabalenka is looking to stress less about her Grand Slam performances, beginning with the French Open. 

Aryna Sabalenka feels good about her chances for the French Open this year, and in particular wants to just let her game work rather than piling expectations on herself.

“I’m really happy with the result on the clay courts so far,” the world No. 4 said in a tournament press conference. “I would say I improved a lot. Of course it’s given me a lot of confidence, but tomorrow is a new day and you never know what to expect.”

“This is just another tournament. As always, I just have to show my level and be there 100 per cent and wins will come.”

Aryna Sabalenka has previously not progressed past the fourth round in her 13 previous Grand Slam appearances, admitting that she often sets her own expectations to high, leading to stress and tightness.

But so far this year, the Belarusian has an impressive 25-7 record, including winning the Madrid Open title by defeating world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty.

“Before I was really thinking a lot about Grand Slams,” Sabalenka continued. “That I really want to win it, and all these things, which does not really help you to win the Grand Slam. You just put a lot of pressure on yourself.

“It’s not really helping. So the biggest improvement was to stop thinking about winning a Grand Slam. Just to start working. And that’s it.”

Aryna Sabalenka faces qualifier Ana Konjuh in the first round of this year’s French Open.