Sabalenka Makes Triumphant Return To Grass Courts At Berlin Open Against Kasatkina

Sabalenka Makes Triumphant Return To Grass Courts At Berlin Open Against Kasatkina

by Zachary Wimer

Aryna Sabalenka started off her 2024 grass season with a really strong straight-sets win over Daria Kasatkina.

The Belarusian recently shocked the tennis world by confirming that she won't be playing at the 2024 Paris Olympics. She cited the complicated calendar as a factor in her decision.

The calendar is quite complicated this year, but the withdrawal also means that her geass season will be that much more important. Obviously, tennis players don't need to be motivated for Wimbledon, as it's the biggest event in tennis, and that's also why Sabalenka has high hopes for the grass-court major.

She's had some good runs at the event in the past, reaching the semi-finals twice, and she generally plays really well on grass, which her first match at the WTA 500 tournament in Berlin showed.

Her first match on the surface was against Kasatkina, a player she knows well, having played her multiple times. The Russian never really gave her that much trouble in their matches, and this match was certainly the same.

The opening set started furiously for Sabalnenka, who outplayed her opponent easily in the first few games of the match, taking a 5-0 lead. She finished the opening set by winning it 6-1, and it mostly came down to her dominating the rallies by serving well and returning well.

The second set opened better for Kasatkina, who won her opening service games with some solid play, but it was only a matter of time before the world no. 3 player established control again.

Being totally comfortable with her serve was crucial because she never allowed Kasatkina to find any hope of breaking her serve or taking the lead. Sabalenka's first break of the second set came at 2-2, as she took a 3-2 lead and confirmed it with a quick service game to make it 4-2.

From there, it was a rather simple cruise as she finished off the match, winning it in two simple sets, 6-1, 6-4.


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