Monday, 6 February, 2023
E-paper

Sabalenka looking to keep WTA Finals momentum going in Australia

World number five Aryna Sabalenka is aiming to hold onto the momentum from her season-ending run at the WTA Finals when she starts as second seed at the Adelaide International next week.

The Belarusian lost in the decider of the WTA Finals in Texas in November to France's Caroline Garcia after stunning top-ranked Iga Swiatek enroute.

With an elusive maiden Grand Slam title on her mind, the 24-year-old only took a week off before resuming training for the Australian Open where she has never gone beyond the fourth round.

Sabalenka said she was keen to get as much match practice as possible in Adelaide in the run-up to the opening Grand Slam of the year in January as she searches for a first WTA title since the Madrid Masters in 2021.

"We all want to win this tournament, that would really help me at the Australian Open," she said. "I will do my best here, because I feel like I need to play some matches.

"I prefer to play matches, to be in different situations on court, make sure that in the Grand Slam I'll be ready for everything."

Sabalenka, who is seeded behind Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur at the Memorial Drive venue, has a bye in the first round which starts on Sunday.

She will begin against the winner from China's Zhang Shuai and Russian Liudmila Samsonova.