Aryna Sabalenka on her perfect start coming to end: There will be less attention now


Aryna Sabalenka didn’t want to be negative about her perfect start to the season coming to an end as she noted that Barbora Krejcikova deserved to win their Dubai quarterfinal match.

After starting the season 13-0 and winning back-to-back titles at the Adelaide International and Australian Open, Sabalenka suffered her first loss of the season on Thursday after Krejcikova beat her 0-6 7-6 (2) 6-1 in Dubai.

“Probably there will be less attention (now that the streak is over). It doesn’t matter, I lost it. Barbora deserved it, she played great tennis and I will just keep working and keep getting better; make sure that Indian Wells will be a better result,” Sabalenka told AFP after her perfect start to the season came to an end.

Sabalenka, who was the second-seeded player in Dubai, was hoping to meet top-seeded Iga Swiatek in the final. 

“I really would like to see that happening (playing finals against Swiatek) but first of all I have to work hard and I have to focus on myself. You cannot predict anything in tennis, especially women’s tennis, but I really want to see that I’ll work really hard to make sure that this is going to happen,” Sabalenka added. 

Sabalenka appeared to be cruising toward easily beating Krejcikova

Sabalenka came out firing against Krejcikova as she broke the Czech three times in a row and didn’t drop a single game en route to winning the first set. 

After easily winning the first set, Sabalenka missed out on a break point in the second game of the second set but broke Krejcikova two games later to take a 3-1 lead. 

Up by a set and a break, it seemed Sabalenka would clinch a routine win over Krejcikova but the Czech then broke back the Belarusian in the fifth game.

Krejcikova managed to send the set into a tie-break, where she won six consecutive points and dominated to force a decider.

After winning the second set, Krejcikova broke Sabalenka twice in the third set to complete a big comeback win.

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