Tennis

Aryna Sabalenka and dad shared dream before he died, to win 2 Grand Slams, she is 1 match away

Winning her second Grand Slam singles title on Saturday would have a little extra meaning for Aryna Sabalenka

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Winning the Australian Open -- for a second time -- on Saturday would be extra meaningful for Aryna Sabalenka.

The 25-year-old from Belarus shared that before her father passed away in 2019, they shared a dream of winning two Grand Slam singles titles before turning 25.

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In the Netflix docuseries "Break Point" Sabalenka said, "I lost my father four years ago. We had one dream: that before 25 I will win a couple of Grand Slams."

At the time of the recording, she hadn't won one.

Sabalenka turns 26 in May and while her goal was to win two Slams before 25, tennis fans are thinking that in this particular case, it’s reasonable to move the goalpost slightly.

Her first Grand Slam singles title came at the 2023 Australian Open. On Saturday she will face China's Qinwen Zheng to collect another one.

Sabalenka's father Sergey passed away suddenly in November 2019 at the age of 43. 

“I’m just trying to fight because my dad wanted me to be No.1," Sabalenka said in January 2020. "I’m doing it for him so that’s what is helping me to be strong right now."

Reaching world No. 1 is a milestone Sabalenka reached last year during the U.S. Open. She is currently ranked No. 2 behind Iga Swiatek.

Aryna Sabalenka, now the top ranked women's tennis player in the world, is focused on the U.S. Open despite her rise in the rankings.
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