Aryna Sabalenka answers why Eastern European produces so many successful players

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Sabalenka was asked in Stuttgart why it is that some of the best WTA players come from Eastern Europe.

Aryna Sabalenka, 25, was asked a very interesting question during her pre-tournament press conference in Stuttgart as the Belarusian tennis star thinks being “raised in tough conditions” and learning to fight and grind from early days is a big reason why Eastern European tennis players have so much success.

Sabalenka, who was born in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk, is a two-time Grand Slam champion and one of numerous players from Eastern Europe who has managed to become a Slam champion and reach the top-10. Most notably, former 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova came from Eastern Europe, as well as Maria Sharapova.

Currently, around half of the WTA players ranked inside the top-50 come from Eastern European countries. When it comes to the current top-10 group, three players were born in Eastern Europe – Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina and Marketa Vondrousova.

“I think we all been raised in tough conditions and we’re really tough people and we’re fighters. I don’t know, that’s the only explanation I see,” Sabalenka said.

“I mean, I would say this stuff about myself. It wasn’t easy for me, and I was always fighting for my dream. I think that we are kind of, like, tough. I don’t know. Whatever (laughter).”

Sabalenka determined to finally get her hands on the Stuttgart title

This week, world No. 2 Sabalenka is kicking off her clay season in Stuttgart and making her fourth consecutive appearance at the tournament. In each of her first three Stuttgart campaigns, the 25-year-old Belarusian made the final but a bit stunningly she has yet to win a title at the tournament.

After losing to Ashleigh Barty in the 2021 Stuttgart final, Sabalenka was beaten by Iga Swiatek in each of the last two Stuttgart finals.

“This year I really want to win this one. I keep coming back. I love this tournament, always enjoy my time here, always enjoy playing here. I’m just super happy to be back here,” Sabalenka said.

In Stuttgart, second-seeded Sabalenka has a first-round bye and she will start from the round-of-16 by playing against Paula Badosa or Diana Shnaider.
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