Aryna Sabalenka’s mother Juliya playfully expressed her desire for her daughter to diversify and multiply her Grand Slam trophy collection.
Daria Kasatkina criticized the WTA for scheduling the Abu Dhabi Open and Qatar Open back-to-back. Meanwhile, a renowned tennis coach questioned if Coco Gauff’s 2023 US Open win would translate to more success in 2024.
Also, Ons Jabeur announced her plans to launch a foundation for women’s empowerment soon.
On that note, here’s a brief overview of today’s top headlines:
#1 – Aryna Sabalenka’s mother Juliya jokes about Belarusian’s Australian Open trophy collection
Aryna Sabalenka’s mother Juliya playfully teased her daughter’s collection of Australian Open trophies.
Sabalenka successfully defended her title and won her second career Grand Slam trophy at the 2024 Australian Open by defeating China’s Zheng Qinwen in straight sets in the finals.
“Twins [referring to Aryna Sabalenka’s 2 Australian Open trophies]. I want at least triplets!!! And we need to diversify the collection somehow,” wrote Juliya on her Instagram account.
#2 – Daria Kasatkina criticizes WTA scheduling amid Abu Dhabi campaign
Daria Kasatkina recently voiced her disapproval of the WTA’s scheduling ahead of her final against Elena Rybakina at the 2024 Abu Dhabi Open.
Kasatkina slammed the consecutive scheduling of the Abu Dhabi Open final and the Qatar Open and expressed concerns about the limited turnaround time between her final match and the Doha opener.
“It’s terrible scheduling, honestly,” Daria Kasatkina said, via France24. “I don’t know how you can schedule the finals of the tournament on Sunday, wanting to finish the next tournament on Saturday, so you start it on Sunday, and like this, the player, if like me, you don’t have a bye in Doha, I have to play on Monday. And I play finals tomorrow at 5pm.”
“We don’t have yet this technology that I can just do like this (snaps her fingers) and be in Doha in five seconds.”
The Russian asked the tournament management if they planned back-to-back events with no breaks to exhaust players.
“I have a question, I don’t know to who, to WTA or the tournaments, like, are you guys trying to make players die, or to get injured often?” she asked.
Daria Kasatkina went on to lose the match in straight sets against Rybakina in a match that lasted just over an hour. The Russian will now face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the Qatar Open first round on Monday, February 12.
#3 – Coco Gauff needs to step up her game from last year to win a Major in 2024, says tennis coach
Tennis coach Eric Riley said that Coco Gauff needs to upgrade her skills significantly if she wants to win another Grand Slam in 2024.
Gauff won her first Grand Slam at the 2023 US Open by beating Aryna Sabalenka in the final. The American continued her winning streak in 2024, defending her title at the ASB Classic and making it to the semifinals at the Australian Open.
Riley complimented Gauff for making it to the semifinals of the Melbourne Major on the Tennis Channel’s ‘Inside-In’ podcast. He also warned that it was harder to live up to the hype as a top player than to rise as an underdog.
“Now Coco won the US Open, and she followed it up with a Grand Slam semi right? That’s exceptional. It’s much easier to climb the ranks when you’re an underdog than when you’re expected to win,” he said (at 0:42).
Riley noted that Gauff’s coach, Brad Gilbert, who had coached stars such as Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick in the past, would make sure that the 19-year-old keeps improving.
“Obviously, Coco Gauff having Brad Gilbert in her corner, who’s an experienced coach, that’s really going to be good for them because he’s not going to let her slip,” he said.
Riley also implied that Gilbert would know Gauff’s level at the US Open 2023 will not be sufficient to win her a Grand Slam this year. He said that the American had to work on her flaws and improve her game to be successful this season.
“Because he understands that what won the US Open, the quality of the work she did to win the US Open [in 2023] is not going to win in 2024, it’s not going to win a Major. So, Brad knows that and she’s going to have to play better this year and she’s going to have to improve,” he said.
“Which means she has to, like I said earlier, you gotta work on weaknesses, you gotta build confidence, you have to have purposeful practice where you’ve got to work your tail off because you’ve got a target on your back. It doesn’t get easy now, it gets harder,” he added.
#4 – Ons Jabeur reveals her plans to launch her foundation for women’s empowerment soon
Ons Jabeur announced her plans to launch a foundation soon, which will aim to empower young women globally.
The announcement came during a roundtable discussion on women’s health and nutrition, hosted by the WTA Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Tuesday, February 6, at the 2024 Abu Dhabi Open.
Jabeur expressed gratitude for the WTA Foundation’s efforts and emphasized the need to take action for the benefit of young women worldwide.
“I am hopefully announcing my foundation very soon as well to help do the work. I appreciate what the WTA Foundation is doing to help young women everywhere. Being aware is not enough. We have to go and do something about it,” Jabeur said.