Sabalenka Stunned In Her First Match Since Australian Open Triumph

Sabalenka Stunned In Her First Match Since Australian Open Triumph

by Zachary Wimer

Aryna Sabalenka returned to the tennis courts, and she suffered a surprising loss in the second round of the 2024 Dubai Championships to Donna Vekic.

The Belarusian player took a good amount of time off after the Australian Open, only returning at the WTA 1000 event in Dubai. She won in Melbourne, so there was no need for her to rush back, but maybe she would have been better off if she started playing last week because this was a very strange match for the Belarusian.

Facing Donna Vekic rarely goes smoothly for Sabalenka due to how the matchup went so far, but this one was a pretty surprising result. The opening set was a proper battle as both players found ways to frustrate their opponent.

Vekic took a 2-1 lead but gave it right back. Sabalenka then tried to apply heavy pressure on her but couldn't quite break through. She would eventually take a 5-3 lead but lose her serve in the next game to make it 4-5 and then 5-5.

Ultimately, the set ended up in a tie-break after Vekic saved multiple set points down 5-6 in the first set. She opened the tie-break well with a 2-0 lead, but then Sabalenka overpowered her to win it 7-5 in the end.

The Belarusian was the better player but couldn't quite get it done before the tie-break. She would do much better in the second set, taking an early lead 2-0 and nearly making it 3-0.

Instead of that, Vekic turned the match around and made it 3-2 for her. Sabalenka kind of collapsed after that, losing her serve once again and losing the entire set 3-6.

Things didn't look all that well in the final set either, as Vekic jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Shen then broke Sabalenka once more to take a 3-0 lead and then a 4-0 lead and then broke once more for a 5-0 lead and finished off with a bagel, winning the third set 6-0, and the match 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-0.


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