WTA Finals: Sabalenka Dominates Sakkari, Gauff-Pegula Falter in Doubles
Sabalenka triumphs over Sakkari in a swift WTA Finals opener, while Gauff-Pegula face doubles defeat. Aoyama-Shibahara secure a solid start.
Aryna Sabalenka, the world No.1 from Belarus, secured a swift victory in her WTA Finals round-robin opener against Greek Maria Sakkari. In their 10th encounter, Sabalenka prevailed 6-0, 6-1 in just 74 minutes. Sabalenka held a 6-3 head-to-head advantage and a 2-0 record this season. However, Sakkari had previously beaten her twice at the WTA Finals in Guadalajara and Fort Worth.
Last year’s runner-up, Sabalenka, is on the path to achieve consecutive finals at the year-end championships, a feat not seen since Serena Williams in 2013 and 2014. She’s also striving to secure the year-end No.1 spot, currently ranked 16th in the WTA.
In women’s doubles, top seeds Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula fell to US Open champions Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe 6-7(2), 3-6 in group play. Dabrowski and Routliffe lead the Mahahual Group with a 1-0 record, while Gauff and Pegula start 0-1. Other teams in the group include No.4 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova and No.6 seeds Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva.
The WTA Finals began with No.3 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan defeating No.5 seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs 7-5, 6-2. In their 1-hour and 36-minute match, Aoyama and Shibahara saved 10 of 12 break points. Aoyama and Shibahara lead the Maya Ka’an Group with a 1-0 record, while Krawczyk and Schuurs start 0-1. The group also features No.2 seeds Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens and No.8 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez.