Monday, January 25, 2021

Sabalenka into Abu Dhabi final with 14th straight win

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Aryna Sabalenka swept into the final of the Abu Dhabi Open with her 14th consecutive win, beating Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-2 on Tuesday.

Sabalenka hit eight aces to book a final against Veronika Kudermetova or Marta Kostyuk in the first WTA tournament of the year.

“I’m really looking forward to this final,” Sabalenka said, adding she was trying to focus on improving her footwork. “I’m just focusing on the right things. This helps me to, first of all, not think about all these wins, and secondly, to keep winning.”

Sabalenka finished last season with wins at the indoor tournaments in Ostrava and Linz, and the Belarusian has won her first five matches of the new season in Abu Dhabi. She is 8-4 in career tour finals and has won her last five. Sabalenka will rise to seventh in the world rankings if she wins the Abu Dhabi title on Wednesday.

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