Aryna SABALENKA averts Madrid Open scare, opens title defence with three sets win over Magda LINETTE

Friday, 26 April 2024 at 14:49
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World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka has survived her opener at the Madrid Open taking down Magda Linette in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the third round at the Caja Magica and begin her title defence.
Sabalenka won in a topsy turvy affair against Linette who is in form having reached the final in Rouen losing to Sloane Stephens in the process who herself is superb on the surface. So it was always going to be a tough opener for Sabalenka. But in the end she managed to find her way through in just over two hours.
She sealed the opening set narrowly 6-4 after sealing just one break. But it wasn't easy by any means with her serve coming under pressure straight away. But even in Sabalenka's case, she could've won it even easier with a 4-2 game deficit and had the chance for 5-2. But she edged through.
She started to have problems though and Linette thrashed her on her service game at 3-1 and had a fairly comfortable hold to make it 4-1. She then was 40-0 up on Sabalenka's serve to go 5-1 up. But Sabalenka managed to dodge it. But Linette in the end sent it all the way averting a break point on her own serve to claim it. The final set saw Sabalenka avoid pressure on her serve at 1-0 and also 3-3. But she broke at the latter attempt to go 5-3 up and this proved vital as she spared her blushes and averted a tough opening set. Next is Katie Boulter or Robin Montgomery, the latter a wildcard who defeated Elina Avanesyan in the opening round.

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