Paula Badosa marks debut with thumping over top seed Aryna Sabalenka at Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara

(Tennis news) Paula Badosa made a stunning entry into the Akron WTA Finals at Guadalajara by beating top seed Aryna Sabalenka on day two of the event. Sabalenka had a ruthless start as she hit winners left and right with even return winners which gave her a 4-2 lead but Paula along with new balls changed the whole match. Paula took the next four games to shock the world number two as she had many chances to take the set but now it was snatched from her.

Paula came back even stronger in the second set as she also made return winners as she broke down Sabalenka’s mental fortress. She went on to bagel Sabalenka, taking 10 consecutive games overall to win the match. Paula defeated Sabalenka 6-4, 6-0.

On being asked what changes she made after being 2-4 down in the first set Paula Badosa said: "In that moment maybe I was playing a little bit waiting for what could happen and didn't want to miss. Sometimes the more you doubt in these conditions, the more you miss. So in that moment I accept the moment. 


"I wasn't happy with my service game. I said to myself, 'OK, now you have to be at her level, aggressive, because she was being very aggressive.' I wanted to play against her. Let's see how it goes. Even though maybe it could go well, it could go bad. That's what I did.

Maria Sakkari faced Iga Swatiek for the third time this year and is yet to lose against the 20 year old. Sakkari also is yet to lose a set against Swatiek as she has dominated all of the three meetings, Sakkari made history when she became the first Greek player to qualify at the event. She used her serve to get a threshold of the match as it helped her to win points in quick succession. In the second set, Sakkari had chances of breaking Swatiek but couldn’t do so but after a great defensive battle she finally broke Swatiek’s serve in the 7th game to take the lead and served out the match. Sakkari defeated Swatiek 6-2, 6-4.

"I think it was a very solid match from my side," Sakkari said in her post-match press conference. "Obviously my serve really helped my game. I felt quite good with the altitude. I could control my shots pretty well. I think every day I'll feel even better. 


"I actually have a good game to play against Swiatek. All three times I played her, I played one of the best matches of the season. Like even today, I think I was very solid in these conditions.


In doubles, Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková made a winning start to the tournament as they defeated Sharon Fichman and Giuliana Olmos 6-4, 6-1. 


Hsieh Su-Wei and Elise Merten were down 4-1 and aso fended off set points in the opening set against Alexa Guarachi and Desirae Krawczyk. The pair came back to make it 4 all, Guarachi and Krawczyk had set points at 6-5 but could not take the set as it went to a tiebreaker as Hsieh and Merten took the first set. In the second set, Hsieh and Merten took the baton early on with 3-1 lead and went on to break the pair to close out the match. Hsieh and Merten defeated Guarachi and Krawczyk 7-6(7-3), 6-2.


Also read: Anett Kontaveit begins campaign with straight set victory at Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara


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