Aryna Sabalenka: I'm trying to stay away from negativity



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Aryna Sabalenka: I'm trying to stay away from negativity

Aryna Sabalenka credits positivity and calmness for her Australian Open run as she admits she is doing her best to stay away from negativity during her matches at Melbourne Park. Sabalenka, seeded at No 5, ousted 26th-seeded Elise Mertens 6-2 6-3 to progress into the Australian Open round-of-16.

In her previous two matches, Sabalenka also claimed straight-set wins over Tereza Martincova and Shelby Rogers. "My calmness on the court (has been one of the keys). That's pretty much it, I think. I was just ready for everything.

Whatever's going to happen on court, I'm ready for that. It's still about a lot of positive emotions for me, but I'm trying to stay away from negative and just fight for every point," Sabalenka said, per the WTA website.

How Sabalenka defeated Mertens

Sabalenka got off to a positive start to the match, breaking Mertens in the fourth game to open a 3-1 lead.

In the eighth game - when Mertens was serving to stay in the first set - Sabalenka earned her second break to seal the opener. After easily winning the first set, Sabalenka broke Mertens in the second game of the second set to open an early 2-0 lead.

Down by a set and a break, Mertens refused to quit as she earned her first break of the match in the third game to get the break back. After blowing an early second-set break, Sabalenka had a chance to break Mertens again in the fourth game but the Belgian saved a break point to tie the second set to two games apiece.

No break points were seen again until the eighth game, when Sabalenka managed to break Mertens for a 5-3 lead. In the ninth game, Sabalenka realized her first match point to complete a two-set win. In the Australian Open round-of-16, Sabalenka plays against Belinda Bencic.

Bencic also hasn't dropped a set yet so far at the Australian Open and she will certainly be a test for Sabalenka.