Aryna Sabalenka news: Doubles champ battles serve issue to stay in Aus Open

Aryna Sabalenka powers on

Aryna Sabalenka has turned her early season nightmare around to progress to the second round of the Australian Open after coming back from being a set down.

The player from Belarus came into the major tournament on a low after struggling with her serve in two warm-up competitions – she was even brought to tears as she had to dispatch her deliveries under arm when she played No 93 Rebecca Peterson in the Adelaide International.

It didn’t look this this had improved when she started off her opening round match with Storm Sanders as Sabalenka had four double faults in just her first two service games.

Sanders took advantage of this immediately and broke when the Belarussian made a double fault during her first serve of the match, and the tie continued like this for the first set which the Australian won.

Sabalenka made even more double faults in the next set and was 3-1 down, however she suddenly got herself into the game and went on to win the set.

She was in her stride by this point and made no more mistakes for the rest of the match, meaning she came away with an overall victory, winning 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, for a place in the second round of the season opening Grand Slam.

“The start of the season was not great and really happy I got this win,” the 23-year-old said in her on-court interview.

“I stopped thinking too much and just tried to play tennis.

“She was a tough opponent so very happy.”

Sabalenka will face Chinese opponent Wang Xinyu in the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday, and she’ll be hoping she can get further in the competition than she did last year as she bowed out of the tournament after Serena Williams beat her in the fourth round.