Sabalenka downs Azarenka to claim title

Updated: 26 October, 2020 11:49 IST | AFP | Prague

Playing her 40th WTA final, Azarenka won the first game of the second set before losing the next two as she visibly started struggling with an apparent health problem, finding it hard to move

Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka
Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka

Third seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus won the Ostrava Open WTA tournament after beating her visibly struggling compatriot Victoria Azarenka in straight sets on Sunday.

World No. 12 Sabalenka took only an hour and eight minutes to ease past 14th-ranked Azarenka 6-2, 6-2. It was Sabalenka's second title this year after a win at the Qatar Open in February, before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

"I'm happy with this week, it was a thrilling week for me and I'm really happy with this result," Sabalenka said in the empty ice hockey arena. "I would say that the first six games were really tough, she played really well and she made me move," said Sabalenka. "After each point I was really tired, she pushed me a lot in this match."

Playing her 40th WTA final, Azarenka won the first game of the second set before losing the next two as she visibly started struggling with an apparent health problem, finding it hard to move.

The former World No. 1 and this year's US Open finalist took a medical timeout for work on her neck. "I don't know what happened with her, but you have to stay focused and you have to keep thinking what you are doing on the court," Sabalenka said. "So I just tried to stay focused, make sure I hit clean shots."

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First Published: 26 October, 2020 07:50 IST

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