Aryna Sabalenka surges past valiant test from best friend Paula Badosa at Roland Garros

Saturday, 01 June 2024 at 14:56
Aryna Sabalenka eased through in straight sets against Paula Badosa, her best friend at Roland Garros. But it could've been very much different as Badosa had a golden opportunity in the first set, when she was able to serve to take it, she finally fell to the Belarusian by 5-7, 1-6.
In the first set, Badosa started with a break against Sabalenka. However, the Spaniard managed to react immediately by returning the tie to the scoreboard with another break. Then, Paula saved four break points to make it 2-1. At 3-2, she got a new break to take a 4-2 lead. Although the Belarusian reacted with a break, the Spaniard again struck a blow to Sabalenka's serve and went 5-3 up with a chance to win the set on her serve.
However, Badosa was to miss what was the best opportunity of the match for her to win a set. Sabalenka broke the Spaniard's serve. After confirming the break, she claimed another break to go 5-6 up and serve to win the first set. Unlike Badosa at the time, Sabalenka did not give any extra chances to the Spaniard and took the opening set by 5-7.
The second set started with the same problems for Paula Badosa. After being 5-3 up in the first set, the Spaniard had not managed to win any game. That streak was to be prolonged by Aryna Sabalenka with a new break that put her 0-1 up. Although she had a break chance, Badosa was out of the match since that 5-3 of the first set. Sabalenka confirmed the previous break with the 0-2 to immediately after add a new break, this time with a game in white.
If the 0-3 did not seem definitive already, the 0-4 after confirming the break left Aryna Sabalenka with a foot and a half in the round of 16 at Roland Garros. Badosa then got a game back to avoid a potential bagel. The Belarusian was still firm with her serve, and made it 1-5 without any problems. In the end, Sabalenka closed the set and the match with a last break, 1-6.
In the round of 16, Sabalenka will face the winner of the American duel between Madison Keys and Emma Navarro.

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