Doha winner Aryna Sabalenka: ‘I lost my dad in the pre-season. I’m doing this for him’
Aryna Sabalenka eased past Petra Kvitova to win the Qatar Open and then dedicated the title to her father Sergey, who passed away in November.
The 21-year-old secured her sixth WTA Tour title and third Premier 5 trophy with a solid victory over the eighth-seeded Kvitova, winning 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 14 minutes.
— WTA (@WTA) February 29, 2020
The ninth seed broke in game four of the first set and games seven and nine of the second to ease to victory.
Sabalenka revealed afterwards how tough the past few months have been on her following the death of her father.
“It was a long journey here and I put everything on tennis,” the Belarusian said. “I was actually only playing tennis and focusing on tennis and nothing else. And I think I gave everything for tennis.
“I just lost my dad in the pre-season and he was my biggest motivation, and I’m doing it for him.”
The world No 13’s last four titles were all won in China, but her debut appearance in Doha led to a title.
“I couldn’t really expect the title for the first time in Doha… I’m really happy, it feels so special for me,” she said.
“I was really focused on each point, and played every point like the last point and like I’m actually losing… I respect [Kvitova], I knew she is a big fighter, I know she will bring everything she have on this final. I tried to focus on each point because I knew that she will try to come back in the game and she will try to beat me.”
Jim Courier backs Andy Murray after Mats Wilander flak: ‘It is up to Andy as to how long he wants to play’
Jim Courier comes to Andy Murray’s defence.
WATCH: Daniil Medvedev serves underarm, destroys his racket en route to stormy French Open exit
Another tough day at Roland Garros for Daniil Medvedev.
Andy Murray’s former coaches hit back at Mats Wilander after he urges the Scot to consider his future
Andy Murray backed by two of his former mentors.
‘There’s probably one word – disappointing,’ says Liam Broady after French Open exit
Heather Watson is left to fly the British flag.
Rafael Nadal starts ‘different Roland Garros’ with solid win to extend French Open record to 94-2
Nadal starts quest for Grand Slam No 20 with solid win.
Serena Williams after first-round win: ‘I just need to play with more confidence, like I’m Serena’
Williams pushed to a tie-break in the first set.
Liam Broady’s French Open main draw debut ends in opening-round defeat
Broady came through qualifying for first time at a major.
No US Open hangover for Dominic Thiem as he makes impressive French Open start
US Open champ Dominic Thiem continues winning run.
‘I will do everything I can to keep Roger Federer No 1,’ jokes Dominic Thiem
Thiem eyeing a few more Grand Slam titles.
Dan Evans on the balls being used at the 2020 French Open: ‘You wouldn’t give to a dog to chew’
Dan Evans clearly not a fan of the French Open balls.