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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday November 15, 2020


Aryna Sabalenka had everything clicking as she ended the 2020 season on a nine-match winning streak on Sunday in Linz.

Photo Source: Alexander Scheuber

Aryna Sabalenka’s surge to finish the 2020 season was special on many levels. She notched her first Top 10 year-end ranking thanks to her run to the final in Linz, and also finished the season winning back-to-back titles, to tie Simona Halep atop the WTA’s title leaderboard with three.

Tennis Express

Perhaps even more special was the fact that Sabalenka did it without Dmitry Tursunov as her coach. After a brief spell with Dieter Kindlmann, earlier in 2020, sabalenka has formed a cohesive bond with Anton Dubrov of Belarus. The 22-year-old says that there is good chemistry between her and the 25-year-old, who was a longtime hitting partner of hers.

"After I stopped working with Dmitry I tried for a few weeks with Dieter (Didi) and I would say it didn't work well and I didn't feel really good working with him because we have different thoughts about how I should work,” she said on Sunday after the final. “After we stopped working with Didi I said like I want to work with Anton and he knows me really well, he knows what to do and he's a smart guy and he's working really hard and this is really important for me and he's giving everything he has, so for the next season I'll work with him as a coach and I think we both are doing really well, so yeah I think this is I am going to do."

Sabalenka says she is enthused about her torrid finish to the season for obvious reasons, but also because it helps eliminate any doubt that she couldn’t achieve success without Tursunov by her side.

"That's really important to be successful without Dmitry because yeah we worked for a long time and I started winning with him and it was really tough to make this decision to stop working with him and in the beginning I was questioning myself if I'm doing right or wrong and there was a lot of questions,” she said. “But Anton really helped me a lot to go through these thoughts and for now I feel really confident of working with Anton.”

Sabalenka has also matured in her mental approach. She says she is finally learning to stop sweating the small stuff and to stop overthinking her tennis.

"I changed my mind a little bit, I stopped overthinking about tennis,” she told reporters. “I start to think that this is my job and I have to go there and give everything I can and just do everything we've been working on, and these kind of thoughts helped me to be more professional and more consistent maybe on the court, so yeah, I think this is what I am going to bring on the next season and hopefully it's going to work.”


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