Aryna Sabalenka captured her sixth WTA career title on Saturday at the Qatar Total Open, in Doha. The Belarusian defeated Petra Kvitova in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 in 74 minutes. This win also marked Sabalenka’s second Premier 5 tile.
Sabalenka dominated the match on all fronts from the get-go against the southpaw, a former champion here, in 2018. Kvitova who was on a 10-match win streak in Doha could not tackle the barrage of shots directed at her, despite not lacking in the wherewithal to do so.
After the match, Kvitova acknowledged the level of superiority with which Sabalenka was playing. “I wasn't playing probably what I wanted to, but she didn't give me anything to play my game. Aryna played amazing match. For sure, she didn't give me anything for free, I had a chance once in the second set to break her serve, but I just couldn't make it.
But it was very tight game and probably that's really helped her to win the second set”. Sabalenka went on to finish the match with 21 winners, 15 unforced errors and seven aces. Speaking with the media later, the 22-year-old said that tennis had become all the more important to her since her father’s sudden death ahead of the start of the 2020 season.
“It was a long journey here and I put everything on tennis. I was actually only playing tennis and focusing on tennis and nothing else. And I think I gave everything for tennis. And I just lost my dad in the pre-season and he was my biggest motivation, and I'm doing it for him”.
The world no. 13 now has an 11-match win streak in the Premier 5 tournaments, going back to the 2019 Wuhan Open. Photo Credit: Belarus Embassy (Qatar), Twitter