Jimmy Connors: I hope Aryna Sabalenka doesn’t go into that post-Grand Slam funk


Jimmy Connors hopes 2023 Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka continues her strong form and avoids “that post-Grand Slam funk.”

Sabalenka, 24, became a Grand Slam champion after beating Elena Rybakina in the Australian Open final. 

Sabalenka is now a Grand Slam champion and she is also enjoying a career-high ranking of No 2 in the world. 

“I’m very happy for her [Aryna Sabalenka] and I hope she doesn’t go into, you know, to that post-Grand Slam funk. I hope she doesn’t think that she can live off of that for five years,” Connors said on the Advantage Connors podcast, per Sportskeeda

Connors on Sabalenka’s Australian Open final win

Sabalenka recovered from a slow start to the Australian Open final as she came from a set behind to beat Rybakina 4-6 6-3 6-4. 

Reflecting on the final, Connors said it was impressive to watch how Sabalenka reacted to being a set down to Rybakina – who was playing her second Grand Slam final. 

“It was a great Australian Open for her [Aryna Sabalenka], I’m happy for her. To be honest, I don’t watch a whole lot of tennis but I do get involved in it. For me to sit down and to watch quite a bit of that match. I was interested in just how she would handle that (double faults). If she would be able to overcome the double faults, even though she started out a little nervous. Which is okay, you should. It’s a final of a Grand Slam and her first final, even though she had been to the semis before but boy did she handle it then. And the way she played and in the third set the way she went for shots. I said ‘you know, good for you.’ Yeah, you know to step up and to start taking your place and you know to be one of the forces in the game and I hope that I will say it again,” Connors said.

After winning the Australian Open, Sabalenka admitted she felt a big relief.

Also, Sabalenka said she now wants more Grand Slam success after tasting her first Grand Slam victory.

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