French Open: Sabalenka Downs Badosa in Tight Battle to Reach Fourth Round

French Open: Second seed Aryna Sabalenka navigated a challenging third-round clash against her close friend Paula Badosa to advance to the fourth round of the French Open on Saturday, June 1st. The final score was 7-5, 6-1, with Sabalenka showcasing her power and resilience to overcome a determined Badosa.

A Tight First Set:

The opening set was a see-saw battle, with both players exchanging breaks early on. Badosa displayed her aggressive baseline game, putting pressure on Sabalenka’s powerful serve. A lucky net cord in the sixth game gave Badosa a 4-3 lead, but Sabalenka responded fiercely. The Australian Open champion broke back immediately, unleashing a thunderous forehand to level the set at 4-4. Badosa fought back, but Sabalenka’s powerful hitting and a well-placed backhand slice proved too much, allowing her to clinch the first set 7-5.

Sabalenka Takes Control:

The second set saw a shift in momentum as Sabalenka seized control. Her powerful serve and aggressive groundstrokes put Badosa on the back foot. Sabalenka broke Badosa’s serve twice, showcasing her dominance and securing a comfortable 6-1 victory.

Friendship on Hold, Competition on Court:

While Sabalenka and Badosa share a strong off-court bond, their friendship temporarily took a backseat on the court. Both players displayed their competitive spirit and determination to win. Sabalenka acknowledged the difficulty of playing her best friend but expressed her satisfaction with the victory.

Also Read: Novak Djokovic: One Win Away from Matching Federer’s Grand Slam Record

What’s Next for Sabalenka:

With this win, Sabalenka extends her unbeaten streak at Grand Slams to 10 matches and remains a strong contender for the French Open title. She will face a tough challenge in the fourth round against either Elena Rybakina or Petra Kvitova.

Additional Points:

  • Sabalenka’s pre-match ritual of signing her fitness trainer’s bald head with a marker pen continued, adding a touch of lightheartedness to the intense match.
  • This victory keeps Sabalenka in contention for the world No. 1 ranking, currently held by Iga Swiatek.

DISCLAIMER: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.

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