WTA Finals: Paula Badosa through to SF; Aryna Sabalenka beats Iga Swiatek

The second round of round-robin matches of the Chichén-Itzá Group took place on Saturday. Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka went on to win their respective matches in the day and night session, respectively.

Badosa defeated Maria Sakkari 7-6(4), 6-4 in two hours and four minutes in what was their first-ever career face-off. Of the two, it was Badosa who created more chances for herself in Sakkari’s game and while the latter did her best to fend off most of it, Badosa went on to outlast all of her efforts. Badosa had 12 break points on Sakkari’s serve and was able to convert just three of these. On the other hand, she also saved three of the five break points she faced.

The seventh seed had two fewer winners than Sakkari – 23 to the latter’s 25 but also had less than half as many unforced errors as that of the Greek – 22 to the latter’s 49. Badosa finished the match with 92 points to Sakkari’s 79.

WTA Finals: Aryna Sabalenka, Maria Sakkari tied at one win apiece

After her win, acknowledging how difficult it was for her to play against Sakkari despite wrapping up the match in straight sets, Badosa said, “I think it was quite a tough match. I served well; I fight for every point. I knew it was going to be a battle against Maria. I think I stayed aggressive. I was moving well. When you win these kinds of matches, I think you have to do a little bit of everything well. I think the key was a little bit in the important moments, I was quite brave and I played very good.”

This was Badosa’s sixth win against a player ranked in the top-10. Incidentally, all six of these wins have come this season. Likewise, this was also Badosa’s eighth win on the trot. Against Iga Swiatek in the final round-robin match, Badosa will look to finish the group table with three wins and no losses. 

Meanwhile, Swiatek exited the WTA Finals in the Group stage after Sabalenka defeated her in their round-robin match. The Belarusian came from a set down to wrap up a 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 18 minutes. The world no. 2 hit 29 winners to the Pole’s 17 and had 42 unforced errors to the latter’s 22.

Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari will play each other in the final round-robin match with a chance to qualify for the semi-finals of the WTA Finals in the Chichén-Itzá Group along with Paula Badosa, who´s already reached the semis.

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