Sabalenka cruises into Australian Open second round


No.5 seed Aryna Sabalenka extended yet another stellar season start, dispatching 74th-ranked Tereza Martincova 6-1, 6-4 in just 1 hour and 9 minutes to reach the second round of the 2023 Australian Open.

Sabalenka, who won her 11th career title at the Adelaide International 1 just over a week ago, has started the year with a 5-0 record for the third time in the last four seasons.

Sabalenka’s typical power game was bolstered by supreme steeliness when down break points. The World No.5 had to save four break points during the 1-1 game in the opening set, but after avoiding that peril, she raced through the rest of the opener without the loss of a game.

A similar scenario occurred at 1-0 in the second set, when she fired a rally forehand pass down the line out of nowhere to save another break point. Sabalenka went on to hold, then immediately claimed the decisive break for a 2-1 lead en route to the comprehensive victory.

Sabalenka will meet either Shelby Rogers or qualifier Arianne Hartono in the second round. If Sabalenka wins that match, she could potentially face either former World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza or her long-time doubles partner Elise Mertens in the third round.

More to come…


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