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‘I’m my psychologist’ – Slam finalist Aryna Sabalenka fixing her own problems

The Belarusian is calm and collected, and it’s all under her own steam

Aryna Sabalenka Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 26, 2023 Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka celebrates winning her semi final match against Poland’s Magda Linette (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Aryna Sabalenka knows that she’s improved her game immeasurably in recent months. Reflecting on her progress after her Grand Slam semi-final victory over Magda Linette, she had an intriguing insight into the responsibility she has taken on herself.

“I decide[d] to stop working with a psychologist,” she said in her post-match press conference. “I realised that nobody [other] than me will help, you know?

“Yeah, on the pre-season I spoke to my psychologist saying, like, Listen, I feel like I have to deal with that by myself, because every time hoping that someone will fix my problem, it’s not fixing my problem.

“I just have to take this responsibility and I just have to deal with that. Yeah, I’m not working with psychologist any more. I’m my psychologist!” she laughed.

Sabalenka: There’s still one match to go

She considered her all-round development; although her serve and power have both always drawn attention, she thinks she has other qualities that deserve praise.

” I think my movement is a little bit better,” she said. “I got a little bit better touch. I don’t know!

“I worked a lot on everything. I think all aspects of my game is improved a little bit.”

And it all coalesced to get her through to her maiden Grand Slam final, having fallen by the wayside in the last four three times previously.

She was not thinking too far ahead, though.

“There is still one more match to go,” she reminded the room. “It’s good that I kind of break through in the semifinals, but there is one more match to go.”

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