Aryna Sabalenka: "I’m doing it for my dad"

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Aryna Sabalenka: "I’m doing it for my dad"

In Doha, Aryna Sabalenka reached her first seasonal final and took the third Premier 5 title in her career, overtaking Petra Kvitová with a double 6-3. At the end of the tournament, she returns to the eleventh position in the WTA ranking, surpassing the Kvitová and placing herself only ten points away from the Top 10.

During her career, Sabalenka won her first Grand Slam title in doubles at the 2019 US Open alongside Elise Mertens. She has won nine WTA titles in total, six in singles and three in doubles. The World No.11's father Sergey passed away suddenly last November at the age of 43.

“It was a long journey here and I put everything on tennis,” the Belarusian said. “I was actually only playing tennis and focusing on tennis and nothing else. And I think I gave everything for tennis. I just lost my dad in the pre-season and he was my biggest motivation, and I’m doing it for him.

I couldn’t really expect the title for the first time in Doha… I’m really happy, it feels so special for me. I was really focused on each point, and played every point like the last point and like I’m actually losing… I respect [Kvitova], I knew she is a big fighter, I know she will bring everything she have on this final.

I tried to focus on each point because I knew that she will try to come back in the game and she will try to beat me”.