There must be something about China that thrills Aryna Sabalenka. The final with Kiki Bertens seemed to have had the Belarusian's name on it from the start. She's won two titles already this 2019 season with one in January at the Shenzhen Open defeating Alison Riske in the 3 sets.
The second title was just last month at the Wuhan Open again having victory over Riske in 3. But it was Sabalenka's mantra, her tennis strategies and tactics that were above par at the WTA Elite Trophy event. Kiki Bertens is indeed no pushover.
She is the holder of 9 WTA titles with one earned at the Miami Open over Simona Halep this year. She stayed right up with Sabalenka in the first set to tie the games at 4-all. She came into the match with a 4-1 head-to-head advantage.
She'd cross courted her, acted aggressive and gave it her all, but spoiled a perfect corner spot winner and a few unforced errors were done to give Sabalenka the first set in under 45 minutes. The Belarusian would gun the forehands and backhands with precision, making it a difficult game for Bertens to ever handle.
The Dutchwoman's coach, Elise Tamaela, a former WTA player came down to the court with advice, as Sabalenka looked on at the large screen at the stadium of her hitting winning shots throughout the match. All she could give was a smile to her coach Dimitry and after the break went back on court for set two.
Sabalenka rightfully bashed balls at the beginning of the second set as she moved on with a 3-0 lead. A crying child had slowed up play as everyone waited for him to be led out by his father. It might have been a distraction for Bertens, but it didn't influence Sabalenka's game a bit as she performed wth her due diligent powerhouse self.
Bertens who normally is the one with the clever strategies and winning volleys were hitting too many unforced errors to go toe-to-toe with the Belarusian's winners. Sabalenka even slammed shots at Bertens and a net cord skipped and went in for Aryna's favor.
At 4-4 it was ironic that Sabalenka was winning on a score that Bertens had a head-to-head ranking with the Belarusian. But it didn't seem to matter. The Dutchwoman's coach returned on court again and her player did listen, but it seems that it was too little, too late for Bertens to ever make a huge difference in the match.
The game and match was in Sabalenka's hands and Bertens knew it. Sabalenka won 6-4, 6-2 and with 700 ranking points. There was accomplishments on both women's sides as the Belarusian had proclaimed that "..I'm just happy...I don't need to celebrate.
I'm happy inside. Maybe I'll eat something like sweets or pizza or burger..." She admitted though that she was glad to win her maiden title at Zhuhai but says "For the next season I would like to win somewhere else instead of China..."
Yet it wasn't long that she recoiled her thoughts and said "..but also I would like to keep winning in China." Kiki Bertens was just glad of her performance, making it to the final and keeping a handle on her ranking saying "..I gave everything this year, so I have no regrets, so I can only be proud of myself."
Proud that I'm still in the Top-10 my second year in a row." Sabalenka kept the acceptance speech after winning really plain and simple and emphasizing about her coaching team said "It's been crazy year for us but happy to end with a title...I'm done."