Aryna Sabalenka wins 3rd straight title in Abu Dhabi

Ross Houston
January 14, 2021

Russian Kudermetova came from a break down in the first set and was behind in the tie-break, but dug deep to edge in front in a battle between two unseeded semi-finalists.

Sabalenka needed just 61 minutes to wrap up her 6-3, 6-2 success over the ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari and will take on Russia's Veronika Kudermetova in the title decider in the UAE capital on Wednesday. "That's why I am really proud of and happy with this title". "Some matches, I didn't feel my serve, some matches I didn't feel my forehand or backhand, but I would just keep fighting, finding my shots, and that this is what I'm really proud of, and really happy with this title".

Sabalenka in Melbourne in 2018
Getty Images

After finishing 2020 with trophies at Ostrava and Linz, the strongly built Sabalenka started her new campaign in the same vein in Abu Dhabi and will rise three spots to a career-best world number seven when the WTA rankings are updated on Monday. The Greek narrowed the gap but Sabalenka's firepower delivered in game nine as she secured a one-set lead in just under 30 minutes. She is 9-4 in career finals and 6-0 in the last 16 months. I think there are still so many things to go and to improve.

The pace of the contest owed much to Sabalenka's power game, with the Belarusian hitting 18 winners to her opponent's 13, while Kudermetova leaked 24 unforced errors to 13.


The 23-year-old Kudermetova was appearing in her first WTA final.

The Abu Dhabi Open final between Sabalenka and Kudermetova will be their first meeting in nearly six years - going back to the ITF Antalya Open in 2015.


Kudermetova is through to her maiden WTA final and takes a 5-3 win-loss record against top-10 opposition into her clash with Sabalenka.


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