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Aryna Sabalenka dedicates her 2020 Qatar Open title to her late father

  • Sabalenka defeated the 2018 Qatar Open winner Kvitova to win her sixth WTA title.
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Modified 01 Mar 2020, 23:58 IST

Qatar Total Open 2020 - Day Seven
Qatar Total Open 2020 - Day Seven

What’s the story?

21-year-old Aryna Sabalenka won her sixth career title after beating Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 in the Qatar Open final on Saturday. Sabalenka's victory, which took less than 75 minutes, has bumped up her world ranking to number 11.

In the wake of her convincing performance, Sabalenka spoke of how much the trophy meant now that her father is no longer with her.

In case you didn't know...

The 2020 Qatar Open was the 18th edition of the event and was held at the International Tennis and Squash complex in Doha, Qatar between 23-29 February 2020. Elise Mertens was the defending champion, but she lost to Yulia Putintseva in the second round.

Elise Mertens
Elise Mertens

The heart of the matter

Sabalenka outclassed two-time Grand Slam winner Kvitova with her deep and powerful groundstrokes, and then wasted no time dedicating her win to her late father.

Qatar Total Open 2020 - Day Seven
Qatar Total Open 2020 - Day Seven

Sabalaenka said that during the final on Saturday, she thought a great deal about her dad Sergey, who passed away last year in November. She described her father’s guidance and impact on her in no uncertain terms:

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

What’s next?

Sabalenka's power-packed run through the Qatar draw is proof that she can beat anyone in the world when she's on her game. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the young Belarusian continue to surge upward and win many more big titles in the future.

Published 01 Mar 2020, 23:58 IST
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