GUADALAGARA, Mexico (AFP) – Paula Padusa made a slow start but won 10 games in a row, surprising top seed Arina Sabalenka 6-4 6-0 on Thursday in her opening match of the WTA Finals.
Belarusian Sabalenka – second in the world rankings – dominated the action at the start of the match and led 4-2, but Spain’s Padusa recovered and won four games in a row to win the first set, before dominating the second with three breaks.
Padusa said he played well although he considered the playing conditions difficult, at about 1,600 metres, which makes the ball fly a lot.
“I am very happy with my performance. I did not expect to be able to play almost a full match, especially in these conditions.” “I was aggressive when necessary and played with confidence.”
Sabalenka, who has won titles in Abu Dhabi and Madrid this season, is seeded for the first time in Mexico because the world number one, Australian Ash Party, decided not to participate in the tournament in Mexico due to travel restrictions and quarantine due to COVID-19 that is still in place in your country. .
“I am very upset with myself and this match, but I hope I can recover,” Sabalenka said.
Barty spent two weeks in quarantine in September, when he returned home to Brisbane from the US Open, not wanting the same to happen if he traveled to Mexico.
Badosa has made significant progress this season after starting at 70th in the world. The Spaniard will now face Greece’s Maria Sakkari, who used her powerful serve to extend her dominance over former French Open champion Iga Swietic of Poland, who defeated 6-2 6-4 in an earlier match also on Thursday.
The 26-year-old, who also had an impressive season, also knocked out Swatik in straight sets this year in the French Open quarter-finals, as well as in the semi-finals in Ostrava.
Skari started the year at number 21 globally and although she did not win a title this season, she reached the final in Ostrava and the semi-finals of the US Open, Ronald Garros and Miami becoming the first Greek tennis player to qualify for it. WTA Finals.
Swatik, who won the Adelaide and Roma titles this year, is also making his debut in this season-ending tournament, this time in Mexico.
“Yes, I think I opposed a controlling party. My serving obviously helped my game. I felt like my stance was very good. I controlled my shots very well. I think I’ll feel better every day,” Scarry said.
Scary won 26 of 27 starting points on her first serve and broke her opponent in the third and seventh games of the first set.
He again got a break and went up 4-3 in the second set.
“I think finding the best way to serve here is probably the key. You have to count the point as you like. I definitely think having a percentage like that helps a lot in one’s match,” Al-Sakari said.
All players had to adjust their game at an altitude of 1,500 meters (5,000 ft) from Guadalajara, Mexico’s second most populous city.
In the tournament, which was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants are measured against all other members of their group, to determine the semi-finalists.
For this year alone, the tournament is being held in Guadalajara and is scheduled to return to Shenzhen, China, in 2022.
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