Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka is taking her match against doubles partner Elise Mertens from Belgium with utmost caution when the two face in singles at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai. The pair won the US Open doubles title this year and will team up again at the WTA Finals in Zhuhai next week.
For the time being, they face one another across the net in a winner takes all encounter in Zhuhai. This will be the fourth time the two are squaring off against each other with Mertens leading their head to head tally 2-1.
"She's a really consistent player and I think she's moving well," Sabalenka said. "I just remember I played against her a couple of times and it was really tough matches. And I'm just ready for it, and it's going to be a big challenge, but I'm ready for it”.
She further added, "It feels strange because we're in the same group. But, no, it feels really okay. It doesn't feel any weird things, so I'm happy to focus on the singles this week." Mertens opened up on the feeling of playing doubles alongside Sabalenka earlier this week.
She said: "Yeah, that was a really special two weeks, also in singles and in doubles. So, yeah, it's the first time that we played a finals of a Grand Slam together and we both were a little bit nervous, of course. But we are really happy with the title."