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Sabalenka defeats Kvitova to seal sixth title in Doha

Aryna Sabalenka - cropped
Aryna Sabalenka
Omnisport
NEWS
Modified 29 Feb 2020, 22:46 IST
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Aryna Sabalenka proved too good for Petra Kvitova in the final of the Qatar Open, winning 6-3 6-3 to claim her sixth WTA Tour title.

Kvitova won the tournament in 2018 and had beaten world number one Ash Barty in the last four, yet she was unable to secure the victory that would have moved her back into the world's top 10.

Sabalenka's powerful serving and brutal groundstrokes were the difference, while she saved all five break points she faced in one game during the second set.

The triumph, Sabalenka's second successive Premier 5 title after her victory at the WTA Elite Trophy in September, ensured the 21-year-old will move to 11 in the world rankings, ahead of Kvitova at 12.

Sabalenka had two break points in Kvitova's opening service game and though the two-time Wimbledon champion held, she fell 3-1 down when failing to win a point two games later.

It took Sabalenka just 29 minutes to forge ahead in the match, one of seven aces delivering the first set.

Kvitova had multiple chances to break in the fourth game of the second set but, in a game that lasted over 10 minutes, Sabalenka held firm before bending in a winner to break and go 4-3 up.

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Sabalenka had three championship points and though Kvitova rallied to save all of those, two pieces of fortune via the net cord helped the Belarusian seal the win in one hour and 14 minutes.

"It's a special moment. It was an amazing week this week," Sabalenka said in her on-court interview.

"I was enjoying every second on the court."

Published 29 Feb 2020, 22:46 IST
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