Aryna Sabalenka wins Abu Dhabi Open for her third straight WTA tour title

Aryna Sabalenka made a strong start to her 2021 season by clinching the Abu Dhabi Open on Wednesday and extending her winning streak to 15 matches.

After finishing 2020 with season-ending trophies at Ostrava and Linz, Sabalenka started her new campaign in the same vein in Abu Dhabi.

It was the ninth title overall for the fourth-seeded Sabalenka, who is projected to rise to world No 7 when the WTA rankings are updated on Monday.

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“I was doing everything I could in each match from the beginning, and I’m really happy to start this season with a title,” Sabalenka told the media during her post-match press conference.

“Every final is really something special, and I would say, finals are a different competition. This final was really nice, and I would say a really fast game.

“I’m really happy to keep winning, and I’ll do everything I can to keep winning. Nobody likes to lose.

“I’m really proud that I was fighting no matter what. 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.”

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She now heads to Melbourne for the first Grand Slam of the year at the Australian Open next month.

“My biggest dream is to win a Grand Slam. I think we all have the same dream, so nothing really special,” Sabalenka said with a smile.

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