WTA

WTA Finals: Sabalenka rallies past Swiatek to keep semi-final hopes alive

By Sports Desk November 13, 2021

Top seed Aryna Sabalenka bounced back from a disappointing defeat in her opening match at the WTA Finals to rally past Iga Swiatek in Guadalajara. 

Sabalenka steadied herself after dropping the opening set and prevailed 2-6 6-2 7-5 Saturday to keep alive her hopes of reaching the semi-finals in her maiden appearance at the event. 

Swiatek, the youngest player in the field at age 20, broke Sabalenka in her final two service games of the first set but could not maintain the momentum as the Belarusian returned the favour in the second. 

Sabalenka entered Saturday with a 9-13 record in three-set matches compared to 35-4 in two-setters but maintained her nerve after the pair traded breaks early in the decider. 

The world number two broke Swiatek to take a 6-5 lead, then served the final game out at love for the victory. 

With Sabalenka's win, Paula Badosa advances to the semi-finals as winner of the group, while the winner of Monday's match between Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari also will advance. Swiatek is out of contention for the semis. 

History is not necessarily on Sabalenka's side, as the top seed has failed to advance from the group stage at three of the past five WTA Finals. 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 

Sabalenka – 16/27
Swiatek – 15/18

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 

Sabalenka – 8/16
Swiatek – 2/3

BREAK POINTS WON 

Sabalenka – 4/7
Swiatek – 3/7

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