Sabalenka Overtakes Paolini And Advances The Second Round In Linz

LINZ, Austria (AP) – Aryna Sabalenka overcame a slow start to defeat Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz, the final tournament of the season.

First-seeded Sabalenka was down 4-1 in the first set before taking the next five games.


Both players exchanged break points midway through the second set before Sabalenka broke 94th in the standings for the fourth time and made the set 4-4 and served for the match in the next game.

Sabalenka, 11th in the world standings, has won 10 of his last 12 games, which includes the Strasbourg semi-final in September and his eighth career title in October in Ostrava.


In other first round matches, 2018 champion Camila Giorgi edged Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 38 minutes.

Giorgi, who conceded a 4-1 lead in the second set, had nine double faults in the match.

Also, world number two Vera Zvonareva easily beat Marta Kostyuk 6-4, 6-2; while Sorana Cirstea, Arantxa Rus, Jana Frett and Barbora Krejcikova also advanced.

Fans were not allowed into the arena as Austria tightened anti-coronavirus measures last week.