World No. 2 and the 2nd seeded Aryna Sabalenka was tested yet again today in her 2nd round clash by World No. 100 Xinyu Wang but the Belarusian managed to take win the clash after 1 hour and 55 minutes to win the match 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 on the Rod Laver Arena.
Wang had Aryna on the ropes in the opening set and it needed a spirited performance from the 2nd seed to win the match. With both players hitting 5 aces, the number of winners hit turned out the difference. Wang had 7 double faults, 21 winners and 27 unforced errors as she won a total of 84 points. Sabalenka however had 19 double faults, 33 winners and 43 unforced errors that saw her win 83 points.
Aryna did not shy away from talking about how difficult it was to win today but she credited her training this week that helped her win the match despite winning lesser points than her opponent.
“Players are getting stronger and stronger and there are no easy matches. Actually, I didn’t expect easy matches in the first rounds so I expect these tough matches and I pushed myself really hard yesterday, 2 days ago and today but thank you guys for the support, I really think you deserve it.
“She hit really hard and served really well and it’s tough to play against her. I tried to stay as low as I can and just put the ball back. I already had a lot of experience playing without the serve and I kept telling myself, ‘You have enough shots to still win the match, even if you cannot serve’. So I think this kind of mentality helped me to stay in the game and actually find my serve,” said Sabalenka during her on-court interview.
Aryna Sabalenka to clash with Marketa Vondrousova in Round 3
Sabalenka will now be up against Marketa Vondrousova in the 3rd round with the Czech star coming into the tie after consecutive straight-set wins as compared to Aryna’s hard-fought 3-setters. This will be the 5th meeting between the duo with 2 wins apiece shared between them. It will be a big match as many seeds have faltered today and a win in 3rd round could really boost the title chances for Aryna.
“It’s another tough opponent and I had great matches against her, I am really looking forward to it,” said Sabalenka on the matchup with Vondrousova as they will now meet for the first time in a Grand Slam event.