MINSK, 13 January (BelTA) – World number 10 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus clinched the season-opening singles title at the Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Tennis Open on 13 January, BelTA has learned.
The Belarusian earned the ninth WTA singles title of her career as she eased past Veronika Kudermetova of Russia 6-2, 6-2 in the Abu Dhabi final. Now Aryna Sabalenka is projected to reach a new career-high ranking of World No.7.
On her way to the final Aryna Sabalenka took a 7-6(7-5), 6-2 win over Slovenia's Polona Hercog (World No.49), beat Australia's world number 68 Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-4. In the round of Last 16 the Belarusian defeated world number 31 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 6-2, 6-4 and secured a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Kazakhstan's world number 19 Elena Rybakina in the quarterfinal. Aryna Sabalenka charged past world number 22 Maria Sakkari of Greece, 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinal.
The world's leading players are now expected to travel to Australia where they will face a two-week quarantine. From 31 January to 6 February Melbourne will host two events, the so-called rehearsals ahead of the Grand Slam opening tournament, the Australian Open. The Australian Open 2021 is due to take place at the Melbourne Park on 8-21 February. Aryna Sabalenka, two-time Australian Open winner and former world number one Victoria Azarenka (13) and Aliaksandra Sasnovich will play in the women's event. Egor Gerasimov (78) will represent Belarus in the men's event.