Aryna Sabalenka reached the second semifinal of Grand Slam tournaments this season. The representative of the WTA Top 10, Barbora Krejcikova, didn’t provide any resistance to the Belarusian tennis player losing in two sets at the quarterfinal stage. Earlier this year Aryna had got to the semifinals at Wimbledon, where she lost to Kristina Pliskova.
But this whole story might not have happened to Aryna Sabalenka if her parents hadn’t sent her to tennis. Let’s take a closer look at her parents.
Aryna Sabalenka’s Parents
Aryna was born into a sports family. Her father Sergei was a professional ice hockey player until he was 19, when he was involved in a car accident. After that, he only came out on the ice in amateur games. In the family archive, there is a picture where Sergey Sabalenka stands with Stanley Cup winner Nikolay Khabibulin against the background of the NHL’s main trophy. It was her father who took Aryna to play tennis at the age of six. Sadly, at the end of 2019, Sergei Sabalenka died of transient meningitis. Aryna still takes this loss hard.
Aryna Sabalenka spoke about the cause of her father’s death, which became known at the end of November 2019.
I dreamed of lifting the cup in front of my whole family – my dad, mom, my 11-year-old sister. I really wanted to feel the support of those closest to me in that moment. But unfortunately, my dad died.
He died very unexpectedly. At 43 he was strong and healthy. He was playing hockey until he was 18, then had a car accident and didn’t dare to come back. Last fall he had a transient meningitis. His mother called an ambulance three times. Only the third time he was taken to the hospital, when he was almost clinically dead, they tried to save him, but a week later he was gone.
The girl grew up active, restless, and lively. As her mother Julia Sabalenka writes in her Instagram, she could not put her daughter to bed at all: “It was impossible to put her to sleep. Aryna slept only in her arms. As soon as I put her on the bed, she would start crying until she was blue in the face. Another funny sketch from Juliya from Aryna’s childhood: “She liked to chew on lollipops. We only had time to give her new fillings. The whole family would sit and have dinner, and she would chew on her caramels. I ask her not to, but Aryna pays no attention.
Who brought Aryna to tennis?
My dad brought me to tennis, too. I was passing by the tennis courts and decided why not try it. Our interests coincided, I liked tennis right away, Sabalenka said in an interview with Sporttime magazine.