Sabalenka Bests Kenin To Win Her First-Ever Match As World No. 1 In Beijing

Sabalenka Bests Kenin To Win Her First-Ever Match As World No. 1 In Beijing

by Evita Mueller

Last updated

Aryna Sabalenka played her first match as world number one on the WTA Tour, and she truly played like it beating Sofia Kenin in two sets.

Kenin had a minor resurgence of her own, recently going deep in consecutive events and returning to the Top 50. She hoped that form would persist at the 2032 China Open in Beijing, but it didn't quite work out against Sabalenka.

The conditions in Beijing favoured the Belarusian quite a bit, and she demonstrated it well in this match. The bouncy conditions give Sabalenka plenty of time to unleash her full power, and it's been a major problem for Kenin.

It's likely to be a major problem for all players especially if she serves as well as she did today. The opening set started with a very confident Sabalenka breaking early and then simply adding more onto that.

The first set concluded after only 23 minutes as Sabalenka hit four aces and dropped only one point on her serve in the entire set, winning it 6-1 and starting off on a winning note.

The second set was very similar as she once again dominated on her serve, but Kenin played a bit better in the second set. The points were longer, there was more battling, and she avoided getting broken easily, though there were plenty of chances for Sabalenka.

In the end, the world number one was still too good. She had an easy time finishing off the match because Kenin could not generate any kind of pressure on the serve. This is going to be a problem for all players this week, especially if Sabalenka avoids the double faults.

The final score was 6-1 6-2; overall, a very strong impression from the world number one, a worthy performance, and certainly a good step towards her goal of ensuring that she finishes as the best player in the world. Next up is Magdalena Frech or Katie Boulter.


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