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.”
Casper Ruud delighted with season despite big final losses
Casper Ruud says he has overachieved.
Frances Tiafoe reveals his preferred holiday destination
‘Big Foe’ cools his heels in Turks and Caicos.
Who is Carlos Alcaraz’s girlfriend: Maria Gonzalez Gimenez
Carlos Alcaraz is dating Maria Gonzalez Gimenez, a law student and aspiring tennis pro.
Australian Open 2023: Who are the early favourites for the men’s singles
Novak Djokovic is out to complete La Decima at the Australian Open in 2023.
Rafael Nadal’s beautiful tribute to Roger Federer: ‘A part of my life left with him’
Rafael Nadal on Roger Federer’s emotional farewell.
Patrick Mouratoglou predicts ‘big fight’ between generation of Daniil Medvedev and young guns like Carlos Alcaraz
Generation Medvedev vs generation Alcaraz: Who will win the “fight”.
Rafael Nadal to play until he is 40? Former world No 1 explains why Spaniard has a few more years left
Mats Wilander gets his crystal ball out and predicts when Rafael Nadal will retire.
Denis Shapovalov pays ‘huge credit’ to Felix Auger-Aliassime as Canada set up Italy showdown at Davis Cup
Italy defeated USA before Canada came from 1-0 down to see off Germany.
Second generation ATP Pro Ben Shelton taking stock after big season
Ben Shelton is the youngest of 13 Americans in the top 100.
Novak Djokovic ‘still No 1 player in the world’ and ‘heavy favourite’ for 2023 Australian Open
Novak Djokovic will be the man to beat at the 2023 Australian Open, says Aussie legend.