Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

Popular This Week

Net Notes - A Tennis Now Blog

Net Posts

Industry Insider - A Tennis Now Blog

Industry Insider

Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve



 By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Friday, April 26, 2024

Aryna Sabalenka's Madrid matches have become must-see TV.

Today, defending Madrid champion Sabalenka survived a three-set test from Maga Linette in her Madrid opener and clarified her tennis television viewing habits.

Rafa Nadal: Not Fully Fit For Madrid, Will Do Everything to Play Paris

Earlier this week, Sabalenka sparked some social media debate saying she prefers watching men's tennis more than women's tennis.

Today, the two-time Australian Open champion contextualized her comments.

Sabalenka said she does watch women's tennis, primarily to scout opponents, but prefers watching men's tennis because it's an escape that takes her mind off the pressures of her job.

"I didn't want to damage women's tennis, no. Listen, I mean, we are doing our best and, great, there is lots of great matches," Sabalenka told the media in Madrid. "I don't like to watch it just because I play against all of them, and I just want to kind of like change the picture, and because I watch lots of women's tennis before I go to the match,

"I watch my opponents, I watch lots of woman's tennis."

Watching men's tennis is more entertaining for Sabalenka because she doesn't have to consider the consequence of her own draw.

"It's not like I don't like it, you know, like I try to offend what I do, you know. I was just trying to say that because I'm playing there and it's too much for me," Sabalenka said. "I'm just trying to watch men's tennis. For me, it's more fun, you know, than watching my probably like future opponents in the tournament."

Sabalenka is trying to hold off No. 3 Coco Gauff and No. 4 Elena Rybakina to retain her world No. 2 ranking. Next up for Sabalenka is either 26th-seeded Briton Katie Boulter or American Robin Montgomery.

Why has Sabalenka, who improved to 13-3 lifetime at the Mutua Madrid Open, so successful on the high-bounding red clay?

Sabalenka said the surface promotes her power and the city feeds her needs.

"I like Madrid. There is a lot of things why I like it," Sabalenka told the media in Madrid. "The atmosphere in the stadium is amazing. The court is really great quality.

"The altitude definitely helping me. The high bounce also help me a lot here. Also, I just like the city, lots of good restaurants for me. I'm practicing and I need to eat good food. It's a lot of good restaurants here, so I have lots of good things to do."

Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty