Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Paula Badosa beats top seed Sabalenka in WTA Finals

Guadalajara, Mexico (NWN) —

Paula Badosa got off to a slow start but won 10 games in a row to beat top seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 6-0 in her first match of the WTA Finals on Thursday.

World number two Sabalenka dominated the opening round of the match to take a 4-2 lead, but Badosa bounced back to win the first set after winning four games in a row and then took control of the second with three breaks.

Badosa said, “I played very well, there were tough conditions to play here, but I played and wonderful match I knew I had to play like this to beat him.”

Sabalenka, who has won titles in Abu Dhabi and Madrid this season, is seeded first in Mexico as world number 1-ranked Australia’s Ash Barty has lost her WTA Finals title due to continuing COVID-19 travel and quarantine restrictions. Decided not to defend.

“I’m really disappointed with myself and this match, but hopefully I can bring myself back,” Sabalenka said.

Barty had to undergo a two-week quarantine upon returning to her Brisbane home in September after the US Open and did not want to travel to Mexico again.

Badosa is in a successful season after starting the year in 70th position. The Spaniard will play his next match against Maria Sakkari, who used her strong first serve to extend her dominance in a 6-2, 6-4 win over French Open champions Inga Swietec earlier on Thursday.

“My life has changed very fast and very fast, now there is a lot of stress on me,” Badosa said. “The ceiling is high for me, I’ve always dreamed big, I want to play against the best in tournaments like this and that’s being challenged every day”.

The 26-year-old Sakkari, who is also having a breakout year, defeated Swietec in straight sets in the French Open quarterfinals and Ostrava semifinals this year. Sakkari started the year ranked 21st and although she did not win a title this season, she reached the finals in Ostrava and the semifinals of the US Open, Roland Garros and Miami, becoming the first Greek woman to qualify for the WTA Finals. .

Swietec, who won titles in Adelaide and Rome in 2021, is also making her season-ending tournament debut.

“Yeah, I think it was a very solid match from my side. Obviously my serve really helped my game. I felt pretty good with the height. I can control my shots quite well I think every day I will feel even better, ”said Sakkarik

Sakkari won 26 of the first 27 points on his first serve and broke his opponent in the third and seventh games of the first set. She then broke in the second for a 4-3 lead.

“I think finding the right way to serve here, that’s probably the key. Set a point the way you want. Sure, I mean, having a percentage like that helps your game a lot.” ,” Sakri said.

All players have to adjust their game to the roughly 5,000-feet (1,500-meter) elevation of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city.

The tournament, which was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, features a round-robin group stage before the semi-finals.

The WTA Finals are only being played in Guadalajara for this year, with a return to Shenzhen, China in 2022.


More NWN Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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