The first all-Belarussian WTA final went to Aryna Sabalenka who took down Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-2 in Ostrava on Sunday.
Sabalenka, who authored huge comebacks earlier in the week over Coco Gauff and Sara Sorribes Tormo, dominated her countrywoman who was suffering from migraines.
“I’m so excited I was able to handle a high level from her from the very first point,” Sabalenka said. “I was able to stay with her and it didn’t affect me, so I’m really happy to get this win. It’s so important for me.
“After some of the tough matches I had, I felt less pressure going into the others. I was able to play more freely, and I knew I could come back no matter what. Matches like the ones I played this week helped me be more consistent and focused.”
Sabalenka earns her 7th career WTA title. The 22-year-old has impressively won seven of her last eight finals. It’s her second title of the year after Doha.
Azarenka was appearing in her third final since the restart, but wasn’t feel well enough to make any impression against her countrywoman.
“I started to feel bad yesterday,” Azarenka said. “I had a really bad migraine and sometimes this happens. That was pretty significant. I obviously felt better this morning, but the effect of playing under lights that cause sensitivity, and still recovering from yesterday, it triggered more of the same reaction. It was very unfortunate for me today, but it is what it is.
“I wanted to see if there was anything I could do to make myself feel better. I took it as something like a challenge for myself, and what I could do to perhaps find a solution for the next time. I’m proud I was able to at least go through with that.”
The event was the second-to-last scheduled on the WTA with November 9th event in Linz marking the end of the season, for now.
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