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Aryna Sabalenka Edges Out Ashleigh Barty in Zhuhai Opener

Big-hitting Aryna Sabalenka was too strong for Ashleigh Barty in the opening match of the WTA Elite Trophy in China on Tuesday, taking the match 6-4, 6-4.

AFP

Updated:October 30, 2018, 3:38 PM IST
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Aryna Sabalenka Edges Out Ashleigh Barty in Zhuhai Opener
(Image: Twitter/WTA)
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Big-hitting Aryna Sabalenka was too strong for Ashleigh Barty in the opening match of the WTA Elite Trophy in China on Tuesday, taking the match 6-4, 6-4.

The tournament's youngest player produced some typically aggressive tennis in Zhuhai, showing the form that has seen her shoot up the world rankings from the 39th to the 12th place in just three months.

Belarus's Sabalenka, 20, made the most of breaking Australian Barty, 22, in the very first game of the match, seeing out a nip-and-tuck opening set 6-4.

In-form Sabalenka looked the more confident of the two in the early stages, and held her nerve to pull out her first two aces to clinch the set.

Barty took the initiative in the second set, breaking in the fourth game, only for Sabalenka to break back in Barty's two following service games.

The pair produced some thrilling base-line battles for the spectators at the Hengqin International Tennis Center, but Sabalenka turned the screw to see out the match in one hour, 26 minutes.

Now in its fourth year the Elite Trophy features 12 players ranked roughly from nine to 20. This year's total prize money is USD $2.35 million (2.07 million euro) across the singles and doubles tournaments.

Sabalenka and Barty's clash was their first round robin match, with both yet to play eighth seed and world number 18 Caroline Garcia from France.
| Edited by: Shayne Dias
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