Aryna Sabalenka felt proud of herself after clinching a comeback win over Marketa Vondrousova at the Australian Open. Sabalenka didn’t start the match well but recovered from a set down to beat Vondrousova 4-6 6-3 6-1 and progress into the Australian Open round-of-16.
« Of course I’m proud of myself that I was able, after the first set, to come back, » said Sabalenka, per the WTA website. « It was really tough. I was really tight in the first set. Conditions were really tough today.
I’m really happy that I pushed myself so hard and I came back. »
Sabalenka sets up a Kaia Kanepi clash
Vondrousova broke Sabalenka in the opening game of the match but got broken back in the sixth game. However, Vondrousova kept her focus as she broke Sabalenka again in the seventh game and served out for the first set in the 10th game.
After losing the first set, Sabalenka broke Vondrousova in the second game of the second and held on to her serve the rest of set to force a decider. Vondrousova served out the opening game of the third set before Sabalenka claimed three consecutive breaks and won six games in a row to seal the win in style.
Next up for Sabalenka is Kanepi, a player she respects. « [Kanepi is] a great player, » said Sabalenka. « It was a tough match [last year]. She’s serving well, hits pretty hard. It’s really interesting to play against her.
I’m really looking forward to this match. « I remember it was a lot of winners and a lot of unforced errors [in last year’s match]. I think I need to try to start from the beginning and don’t give her so much opportunities, so I just have to be focused from the beginning. »
Sabalenka has never made it past the round-of-16 at Melbourne Park. it remains to be seen if Sabalenka can reach her first Australian Open quarterfinal.