Photo: Aryna Sabalenka turns to champagne to cope with baffling Dubai exit

Sabalenka lost in her Dubai opener after being up by a set and a break.

by Dzevad Mesic
Photo: Aryna Sabalenka turns to champagne to cope with baffling Dubai exit
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Aryna Sabalenka took to Instagram to funnily reveal that she turned to champagne following a very disappointing Dubai exit.

On Tuesday, No. 2 seed Sabalenka was up by a set and a break before shutting down for the remainder of the match and 31st-ranked Donna Vekic coming back to beat the Belarusian 6-7 (5) 6-3 6-0. At one point, Sabalenka was up by a set - had a 2-0 lead in the second set and a break point in the third game to go up by a double break - before losing 12 of the next 13 games.

It was certainly one of the most stunning defeats of Sabalenka's career mainly because of the way it happened. 

"Feel like this is the day (cheers and laughing emoji)," Sabalenka captioned her Instagram Story.

Champagne © Aryna Sabalenka - Instagram

Sabalenka dismisses claim that she was tired

After beating Zheng Qinwen in the Australian Open final for her second Grand Slam title, Sabalenka decided to skip last week's WTA 1000 event in Doha and give herself a total of three weeks of rest. Following her defeat in her first match since winning the Australian Open, Sabalenka underlined she was rested but it was likely the "tricky conditions" that were causing her difficulties. 

“I wouldn’t say that it’s difficult because of my Australian Open win. I had enough time to rest, recharge and start everything over again," Sabalenka said after the loss.

“I feel like the conditions here do not fit me well at all. It’s really tricky for me to be here in Dubai. It’s a tricky court for me.”

Even when Sabalenka was up against Vekic, she didn't feel like she was leading. Overall, Sabalenka felt her performance was "so bad."

“The whole match I was leading, I was winning. I won the first set. I was up with break. I didn’t feel like I was up. The level was so bad today from me,” Sabalenka said.

Sabalenka will now get back on the practice court and try to bounce back at a WTA 1000 in Indian Wells, which starts in early March.

Aryna Sabalenka