Sabalenka takes positives from Madrid Open defeat to Swiatek

tennis05 May 2024 04:25| © Reuters
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Aryna Sabalenka © Gallo Images

Aryna Sabalenka said she was encouraged by the level of her performances in the Madrid Open despite her defeat to world No 1 Iga Swiatek in the final on Saturday.

Sabalenka, who lost 7-5 4-6 7-6(7) in the gripping final, has struggled in recent months, winning just four matches in the four tournaments that followed her Australian Open title defence in January.

However, she looked in fine fettle in Madrid, claiming wins over former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and Miami Open winner Danielle Collins, before pushing Swiatek to the limit in the final.

"I'm happy with the level I played, with the effort I put into this match and into this week," Sabalenka told reporters.

"It's a lot of good things to take out of this tournament, and I think I'm leaving Madrid with positive thoughts... I think after the Australian Open, I struggled for a couple of months. It's been intense.

"It was tough to find myself back, but I'm super happy that here in Madrid I was able to bring it all together and to be able to get back to my level. I think it only can get better from now on."

Sabalenka is next in action at the Italian Open in Rome.

"The first thing comes to my mind, I'm ready for pasta," the 26-year-old said.

"It's one of my favourite tournaments. It's such a beautiful facility and beautiful city. I love Rome, and I'm excited to get back there."