Aryna Sabalenka ends qualifier’s run to win Adelaide International

Aryna Sabalenka has won the Adelaide International 1 by beating Linda Noskova the final.

Aryna Sabalenka has won the Adelaide International 1 by beating Linda Noskova the final. Photo: AAP

World No.5 Aryna Sabalenka has ended Linda Noskova’s fairytale run at the Adelaide International 1, defeating the 18-year-old qualifier 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in the final.

Noskova had to save match points during qualifying just to make the main draw, and she saved a match point in her quarter-final win over two-time grand slam winner Victoria Azarenka.

A semi-final win over world No.2 Ons Jabeur raised hopes of Noskova snaring a maiden WTA title.

But Sabalenka’s greater experience and power on serve proved crucial in Sunday’s final, with the No.2 seed securing the win in 103 minutes.

It was her first WTA title since beating Ash Barty on clay in Madrid in May 2021.

“I think you have a great future. There is 100 per cent going to be many more finals for us,” Sabalenka said to Noskova during her on-court interview.

“It’s been an amazing week. I’ve enjoyed every second.”

Sabalenka struck 17 winners to four in the first set, and won the ace count 6-0.

The crucial moment came in the fifth game when Sabalenka snared the break, with the 24-year-old holding her nerve to secure the opening set in 37 minutes.

Noskova fought tooth and nail to stay in the match, saving break points with the scores locked at 4-4 and again at 5-5 in the second set.

But two double faults in the tiebreak cost Noskova dearly, with Sabalenka going on to seal her 11th WTA title.

Sabalenka finished the match with 44 winners compared to Noskova’s 20.

“It was a really tough match today. Aryna played super well,” Noskova said.


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