World No 2 Aryna Sabalenka is excited to be back in “tennis paradise” as she is hoping this will be the year when she will make her best-ever result in Indian Wells. Sabalenka, 24, is set to make her fourth Indian Wells appearance.
So far in 2023, Sabalenka has just one defeat and she has come to Indian Wells considered among the top favorites for the title. “Happy to be back in tennis paradise,” Sabalenka tweeted.
Will this be the year Sabalenka makes a deep Indian Wells run?
So far in her career, Sabalenka hasn’t had much success in Indian Wells.
Sabalenka made her Indian Wells debut in 2018, when she made the third round before losing to Marketa Vondrousova. The following year, Sabalenka went a step further in Indian Wells as she reached the round-of-16 before losing to Angelique Kerber.
Last year, Sabalenka had a very disappointing Indian Wells run. After a first-round bye in 2022, Sabalenka was upset by Jasmine Paolini in her opener at the tournament. But now, Sabalenka is in a much better place than she was 12 months ago.
Sabalenka started her 2023 season by winning back-to-back titles at the Adelaide International and Australian Open. In late February, Sabalenka returned to action in Dubai. In Dubai, Sabalenka reached the quarterfinal before losing to Barbora Krejcikova, in a match where the Belarusian was up by a set and a break.
After winning her first 13 matches of the season, Sabalenka was finally beaten. Afterward, Sabalenka drew positives as she said that there would be less attention on her after the loss. “Probably there will be less attention (now that the streak is over).
It doesn’t matter, I lost it. Barbora deserved it, she played great tennis and I will just keep working and keep getting better; make sure that Indian Wells will be a better result,” Sabalenka said after her first loss of the year. It remains to be seen how well can Sabalenka do in Dubai.