There were many special moments at the new J&T Banka Ostrava Open in the Czech Republic for Aryna Sabalenka and her compatriot Victoria Azarenka. Both were glad to have made it to the final of any tournament but this was a premier one ending with two Belarusian players.
The Pandemic was mentally and physically difficult, but Sabalenka and Azarenka faired well until the end of the Czech Republic event. Aryna had rough times winning points over the 16-year-old Cori Gauff and then the ever-tough Jennifer Brady.
She was glad to have overcome her opponents and land in the final with Azarenka.
"I hope you'll get better soon", Aryna Sabalenka had said to Azarenka after capturing her title and the victory speech.
The final was a powerful one for the winning Belarusian who strong-armed nearly every shot to come up with victorious strokes on court. The first set and its onset Victoria Azarenka was just warming up and had few successful rallies against her opponent who won the opener 6-2.
Sabalenka didn't waste time and just powerhoused all her shots to score winners. But it was the second set that determined the fate of Azarenka's loss and Sabalenka's gain on the Ostrava court. It was into the 3rd game that Azarenka called for a trainer and had a medical timeout that resulted in her laying on the floor for treatment and then holding her head as though suffering a migraine.
Vika had tried to shake off the unknown condition but she wasn't feeling well and allowed many of Sabalenka's speeding shots to just bypass her on the court. Despite she was winning, Sabalenka had mixed feelings towards the match, but felt proud of her accomplishments.
She had kept looking at her compatriot and opponent as Azarenka was making painful faces while playing. She was down 4-1 and it was unfortunate to see the once bubbly Azarenka not be able to play well in competition. She did well in defeating Belgium's Elise Mertens and then Maria Sakkari but yet wilted on competition with Sabalenka.
It was only a short time that the winning Belarusian gave more pungent smashes of serve and return to score a 6-2, 6-2 victory and capture her 7th career title in the first Belarusian WTA final. Sabalenka also teamed with Elise Mertens who was defeated by Azarenka in singles, to win their doubles final and capture its first women's doubles title.
The duration of the Sabalenka-Azarenka match took only 68 minutes but must have seemed like forever for the ailing Vika who tried to smile and accepted her runner-up trophy gracefully.