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Despite Roland-Garros loss, Sabalenka looks ahead confidently with visa to play Wimbledon

Aryna Sabalenka lost in the French Open semi-finals on Thursday but remains confident for the rest of the summer, which will include a return to Wimbledon after she was unable to play there last year.

Aryna Sabalenka, Roland-Garros 2023 AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Aryna Sabalena had been expected to at least reach the final at Roland-Garros. That did not end up being the case as a result of her 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-5 loss to Karolina Muchova in the semi-finals on Thursday, but it was not all bad news for Sabalenka this fortnight.

Sabalenka good to go for Wimbledon

Sabalenka and other players from Belarus and Russian have reportedly been struggling to get visas for the United Kingdom to play Wimbledon late this summer. However, the world No 2 confirmed following her loss to Muchova that she is now all set.

“Yes, now I have visa,” she announced when asked about it during her press conference. “Woohoo! I can celebrate! I’m coming to Wimbledon, which is great news.

“I’m super excited. I really like to play there; I really enjoy the atmosphere. I really missed last year Wimbledon, and yeah, just can’t wait to come back and show my best tennis.”

Belarusian and Russian players were banned from playing at the All-England Club in 2022 because of the ongoing war against Ukraine. The club reversed that decision earlier this year, paving the way for all players to be invited on the condition that Belarusians and Russians do not publicly support the war.

Sabalenka : “I don’t look at this tournament as a negative”

Sabalenka is certainly confident in her chances at Wimbledon, as she is especially dangerous on grass and also coming off a stellar clay-court swing despite the semi-final setback at Roland-Garros. The 25-year-old won the Stuttgart title and finished runner-up in Madrid. Her semi-final finish in Paris was her best result at this tournament.

“Of course you’re always facing some challenges, and I definitely have to learn something from this match and come back stronger,” Sabalenka said. “But, anyway, I think what I was doing — and hopefully I will keep doing it this season — [was] incredible; just next level. I don’t look at this tournament as negative tournament. I think I [made a] great improvement on the clay court, and it’s my best result here.

“Just right now I’m trying to stay positive no matter what happened on court. Anyway, whatever, I’ll come back stronger.”

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