Linz PHOTOS: Sabalenka starts with victory, Zvonareva wins generational battle


The wins of top seed Aryna Sabalenka and former world No.2 Vera Zvonareva highlighted Tuesday’s first-round action at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz. Our photographer Jimmie48 attended their matches, as well as all the other singles matches at the tournament finalizing the weird 2020 WTA season.

After winning both the singles and doubles titles at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open last month, Aryna Sabalenka successfully started her Linz debut with a 6-4 6-4 victory over Italian Jasmine Paolini. The world No.11 Sabalenka needed some time to find her rhythm, but after overcoming a 4-1 deficit to take the first set, she earned 12 break points in the second set and converted two of them to earn a spot in the second round. The Belarusian’s next obstacle will be Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele, who edged past Viktoria Kuzmova 7-6(3) 6-3 earlier in the day.

With so many moms and veterans on tour nowadays, generational battles are not a rare occurrence. In one such match today in Linz, 36-year-old wildcard Vera Zvonareva fought past 18-year-old Marta Kostyuk 6-4 6-2. To put things in perspective, Russian Zvonareva started playing professionally in 2000, two years before Kostyuk was born. Even though she’s had a fair share of injury interruptions in her career, Zvonareva, a mom to a four-year-old girl Evelina, still has a lot of motivation to play and she’s recently won the US Open doubles title with Laura Siegemund.

Italy’s Camila Giorgi, who won Linz in 2018, survived a second set slump to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-3 5-7 6-4. Other Tuesday’s first-round winners include Sorana Cirstea, Barbora Krejcikova, Arantxa Rus and qualifier Jana Fett.



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