INCREDIBLE! Aryna Sabalenka Seizes Her Second Consecutive Title at Linz Open 2020




It was the day of the finale at the Linz Open 2020 and both the top-seeded players Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens were up against each other. In a breathtaking final, it was the World No.11 Aryna Sabalenka who fought ferociously and won the title. It was her third WTA title of the year, which means she will end the year by finishing in the Top 10 WTA rankings. The final scoreline of the match was 7-5, 6-2.

Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens are partners when they play doubles. Recently, when Sabalenka won the twin titles at the Ostrava Open 2020, she won the doubles title with Mertens.

Both know about the strengths and weaknesses of the other, and that was evident in the final. However, Sabalenka was simply phenomenal, which ensured that the defending champion would go home with another title.

Set-1: Aryna Sabalenka survives a tough set

Serving first, Sabalenka lost the initial point. However, she delivered some beautiful serves to win the first game. She carried forward her momentum and broke in the very next game to take her lead to 2-0. Mertens was looking clueless. She had to find a way in order to survive against the mighty Azarenka.

There was a twist in the tale as Elise Mertens showed why she was the second seed at the tournament. She broke in the third game and reduced the lead to 2-1. She gained some momentum and equalized the scoreline at 2-2 in the fourth game, which saw three deuces.

Sabalenka realized her mistakes and did not repeat the unforced errors next time around. She managed to take the lead once again. Although Sabalenka did earn a breaking-point in the next game, Mertens survived it and leveled the scoreline again at 3-3.

Aryna Sabalenka again won the next game with an amazing backhand winner. She was now leading 4-3.  However, it was after this that something phenomenal took place. Mertens won two back-to-back games that too after saving two break-points in the eighth game.

Sabalenka had to break in this game in order to survive the set. She did not disappoint and broke her opponent’s serve, equalizing the scoreline at 5-5. The 11th game was the highlight of the set as it witnessed seven deuces. Sabalenka saved three break-points and finally won the game.

Sabalenka summed it up quickly by breaking in the next game to win the 69-minute long set 7-5.

Set-2: Game, Set, Match for Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus waits to return a serve during her Women’s Singles first-round match against Oceane Dodin of France on Day Two of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 1, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Aryna Sabalenka continued her momentum and won the first game of the second set easily. She was in an all fire mode as she won her fourth consecutive game after breaking in the second game. The Belarusian player was now just 4 games away from winning the title.

It was as if Sabalenka had figured a way out to get past Mertens. She was serving and returning really well, and her forehands had gained the same strong intensity as earlier. Elise finally ended her drought by winning the fourth game, but she had to fight really hard to even think of making a comeback.

But Sabalenka showcased some amazing skills, saved two breaking-points, and won the next game to widen the margin to 4-1. Mertens did not give it easy and continued to bring the margin down to 4-2.

She had to break quickly before Sabalenka gained momentum again, but it never happened. Sabalenka went on to win four consecutive points to take the lead to 5-2 and was now just one game away.

Serving to save the match, Mertens showed the fighting spirit. But it was too late as Sabalenka broke and won the set 6-2 and thus, the match.