On her debut at the Qatar Total Open in Doha, ninth seed Aryna Sabalenka went all the way to the title by beating 2018 tournament champion and eighth seed Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-3 in Saturday’s final. It’s the Belarusian’s second consecutive Premier 5 title — she also won the Wuhan Open last September as defending champion.
In the first set, Sabalenka produced a dominant 81% first-serve percentage, faced no break points and lost just six points on serve, fittingly finishing the job with an ace, 6-3.
In the fourth game of the second set Sabalenka saved five out of five break points in an eight-deuce game and her back-to-back aces kept the set on serve. That game proved to be crucial as the Belarusian didn’t face any more break points, beating a slightly hampered Kvitova 6-3 6-3 in one hour and 14 minutes.
After a first-round bye at the Qatar Total Open, Sabalenka edged past Anett Kontaveit in the second-round match which featured 12 breaks of serve, then dropped serve just once and won 63% of return points to ease past Maria Sakkari in the third round, came within three points of defeat before beating Zheng Saisai in the quarterfinals, and won four out of five break points in semifinal victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Enjoy our Jimmie48‘s photos from Saturday’s final:
The Doha champion’s trophy is ensuring Sabalenka’s rise from No.13 to No.11 in the WTA rankings.