US Open: Aryna Sabalenka cruises to R2, defeats Maryna Zanevska

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NEW YORK: The World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka produced a fine performance at the Louis Armstrong Stadium to end Belgium’s Maryna Zanevska’s campaign in the ongoing US Open 2023.

The World No. 2 prevailed 6-3, 6-2 over Zanevska in their first-round US Open match to conclude the Belgian’s career. Sabalenka will face Great Britain’s Jodie Burrage in the second round on Thursday.

“I think she played an unbelievable match and fought until the end. I’m just really happy with the win. No matter what, I was able to focus on myself and not the score. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do better with every match,” Sabalenka said in her on-court interview as quoted by US Open.

“If I would be you. After the third double fault, I would just leave this stadium. So thank you for being patient,” Sabalenka joked with the crowd afterwards.

The match began with four consecutive service breaks as Sabalenka committed multiple double faults. But, after she mastered the service toss, the world No. 2 also gained command of the baseline rallies. Sabalenka breezed about the court, gaining a third successive break at 3-2 before slamming a forehand winner three games later to close out the first set.

Zanevska, on the other hand, refused to go quietly. After Sabalenka botched an overhead smash, Zanevska grabbed an early break to lead in the second set, charming the fans with her cheerful attitude and numerous smiles after winning strokes. The No. 2 seed swiftly regained control by breaking her opponent in the following game.

Zanevska’s 14-year career came to an end in New York. Before the tournament she had announced that she would retire after her campaign in New York due to persistent battles with injury. The 30-year-old reached a career-high WTA ranking last year of No. 62 and won her lone WTA title on the clay courts of Gdynia, Poland, in 2021. (ANI)

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