No Drama: Sabalenka Wins Spicy First-Round Match Against Kostyuk At Roland Garros

No Drama: Sabalenka Wins Spicy First-Round Match Against Kostyuk At Roland Garros

by Balasz Virag

Aryna Sabalenka swiftly moved to the second round of the 2023 Roland Garros after beating Marta Kostyuk.

The first-round match at the 2023 Roland Garros between the Belarusian and the Ukrainian was highly anticipated but it was played without any additional drama as some fans expected. It was the first match of the tournament, and also the first WTA match on the Court Philippe Chatrier.

Before the match, the two exchanged quite a few messages via media, as Sabalenka said that she will understand if her opponent won't shake her hand, but also stated that she respects if her opponent hates her for her nationality as she can't change it.

After these comments, Kostyuk hit back at the Belarusian, claiming that she never publicly or privately said that she hates her. Moreover, she mentioned the geopolitical importance of the match, making it a very interesting watch.

It was the second meeting of the two on the WTA Tour, with their first taking place in Doha last year. And this time, the storyline was very much the same after Sabalenka won 6-4, 6-1 in the previous match.

This time, the world no. 2 faced a one-break deficit in the first set, but she was able to break back and turn the scoreline around from 2-3, to winning the first set 6-3.

In the second set, one of the biggest favourites of this year's Roland Garros increased the intensity even further. Sabalenka broke her opponent's serve in the first game and added one more break in the game number five.

Kostyuk couldn't find any answers to her opponent's questions, resulting in Sabalenka's victory in only a little bit more than an hour. The Belarusian won 6-3, 6-2, setting up a second-round match with either Panna Udvardy or qualifier Iryna Shymanovich.

But Sabalenka's win wasn't the first of the day. Before she finished off her first-round match, Nadia Podorska beat Jessika Ponchet 6-0, 6-2, and Magdalena Frech outplayed Shuai Zhang 6-1, 6-1.


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