Sabalenka Beats Jabeur To Win 2023 Riyadh Season Tennis Cup

Sabalenka Beats Jabeur To Win 2023 Riyadh Season Tennis Cup

by Erik Virostko

Aryna Sabalenka bested Ons Jabeur in a prestigious exhibition match played at the 2023 Riyadh Season in Saudi Arabia.

The two players probably got the best possible preparation for the new season, as they got to play an exhibition match during the 2023 Riyadh Season at the exhibition called the Tennis Cup, which will also see Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz face off.

Before traveling to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Sabalenka competed at the 2023 World Tennis League in Abu Dhabi, where she managed to beat even current world no. 1, Iga Swiatek.

Now, she played the sixth highest-ranked player on the WTA Tour, and the match certainly did not disappoint fans who came to watch it or even those who streamed the Tennis Cup live.

Early on, it seemed that it would be a one-sided affair, as the Belarusian came out firing, winning the first game on her serve and having a 40-15 lead on her opponent's serve to go a break up early.

However, she couldn't use her chances, and then, the two also showed fans some exhibition tennis, as Sabalenka entertained the crowd in Riyadh with a tweener, as Jabeur saved both break points and created her own 30-0 lead on the Belarusian's serve, but that also stayed unused.

Both players stayed in control of their serves after that, but that was only until the seventh game, when Jabeur forced one break point at 40-30, and pushed her opponent during the rally, which resulted in Sabalenka putting the ball into the net and the Tunisian's break to lead 4-3, as the crowd cheered for her.

When serving for the set at 5-4, Jabeur showed that she probably felt some pressure when playing in front of what she could consider a home crowd, and she had to save four set points. But the Tunisian was up for the task, winning the opening set 6-4.

Players started the second set by holding their serves, but that was only until the sixth game when Belarusian showed why she's the world no. 2 in the WTA Rankings, unleashed her raw power, and got her first break of the match.

Despite facing break points, the one-break lead was eventually enough to keep the advantage in the second set, which Sabalenka won 6-3 and forced a decider in front of the excited crowd in Riyadh.

This time, the Belarusian broke her opponent's serve already in the third game of the set, but Jabeur immediately recovered the break, but after Sabalenka broke her again, she couldn't find another answer.

On top of that, the 2023 Australian Open champion broke her opponent's serve once more, and this time, she confirmed the hold to win the 2023 Riyadh Season Tennis Cup match 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.


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