Aryna Sabalenka won her biggest career title stunning former champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-3 in the Doha Premier 5 final.
“It was a long journey here and I put everything on tennis,” said Sabalenka following the 74-minute win. “I was actually only playing tennis and focusing on tennis and nothing else. And I think I gave everything for tennis. And I just lost my dad in the pre-season and he was my biggest motivation, and I’m doing it for him.
Sabalenka’s 6th title saw her drop just one set, and she’s now won six of her last seven finals. This was her first time in Doha.
“I couldn’t really expect the title for the first time in Doha,” the 21-year-old Sabalenka added. “I was really focused on each point, and played every point like the last point and like I’m actually losing.
“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.”
This was also quite a statement win with ex-coach Dmitry Tursunov having just returned to her corner just before Dubai.
Kvitova was seeking her second Doha title in three years.
“I wasn’t playing probably what I wanted to, but she didn’t give me anything to play my game,” said Kvitova. “For sure she didn’t give me anything for free, I had a chance once in the second set to break her serve, but I just couldn’t make it. But it was very tight game and probably that’s really helped her to win the second set.”
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