Australian Open | Tennis

Australian Open | Sabalenka overcomes serving issues to see off Vondrousova

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus interacts with the host broadcaster on court after winning her third round singles match against Marketa Vondrousova of Czech Republic during the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2022 in Melbourne.

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus interacts with the host broadcaster on court after winning her third round singles match against Marketa Vondrousova of Czech Republic during the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 22, 2022 in Melbourne.

World number two showed her fighting qualities again on Saturday, January 22, 2022, as the Belarusian came back from a set down to defeat Marketa Vondrousova 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 and move into the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Sabalenka surrendered the opening set for the third match in a row, overcoming early serving issues to pummel the Czech into submission.

"I'm really happy right now and mostly I'm happy that I made only 10 double faults," said Sabalenka.

"She played unbelievable tennis today. I pushed myself really hard and I'm really happy with this win.

"I had some trouble (with my serve), I really expect in the next match a great serve. I'll just keep working on my serve and keep hoping it gets better with every match."

Regains rhythm

Sabalenka's service struggles continued on Margaret Court Arena, with the 23-year-old double faulting in the opening game to gift Vondrousova an early advantage.

While the players traded additional breaks midway through the set, Vondrousova remained resolute in the face of Sabalenka's heavy hitting to take the opener in 38 minutes.

But the two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist found her rhythm in the second set, breaking Vondrousova's serve in the second game with a powerful crosscourt backhand before going on to level the match.

Sabalenka was even more decisive in the decider, breaking Vondrousova on three occasions to secure the win and set up a fourth round meeting against Kaia Kanepi.

"I don't want to focus that far, I just want to focus game by game," she said when asked about her chances of a first Grand Slam title.

"I just want to push myself and see how far I can go."


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 7:03:49 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/australian-open-sabalenka-overcomes-serving-issues-to-see-off-vondrousova/article38307303.ece