Sabalenka crashes out to Vekic in Dubai opener

International Sports

Reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka suffered an opening round upset at the hands of familiar foe Donna Vekic, going down 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-0 in Dubai on Tuesday.

Contesting her first match since her successful title defence at Melbourne Park, Sabalenka blew a 7-6, 2-0 lead to succumb to her Croatian opponent in two hours and 22 minutes.

The 31st-ranked Vekic, who now owns a 6-2 head-to-head lead in lifetime meetings against Sabalenka, was aggressive throughout the match and enters her next clash with big-hitting Romanian Sorana Cirstea searching for her first WTA 1000 quarter-final of her career.

“At all times I didn’t give up. I didn’t stop believing that I can win. I just kept fighting,” said Vekic, who is 9-13 against top-five opposition.

“To be honest, I didn’t have big expectations coming to Dubai. Told my coach that I’m taking this week as half holidays. I can tell you I spent more time on the beach than on the court. Maybe that’s a good way going forward,” she added with a laugh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *