On Day 1 of WTA Finals, Sabalenka fights back to defeat No. 2 Jabeur
On Day 1 of WTA Finals, Sabalenka fights back to defeat No. 2 Jabeur

FORT WORTH: On the first night of round-robin play at the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka defeated No. 2 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia with a gruelling 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 comeback triumph (IST).

The No. 7 seed, Sabalenka, needed almost 2.5 hours to lead Jabeur, a first-time WTA Finals competitor and this year's Wimbledon and US Open finalist, 3-1 in their head-to-head matchup.

In the second set tiebreak, Jabeur was two points from winning at 5-3, and in the third set, she was one point from taking a 5-2 lead. According to wtatennis.com, Sabalenka battled back on each occasion to earn her fourth career victory over a player rated inside the Top 2.

After their victories on Day 1, Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari of Greece are the early leaders of the Nancy Richey Group. In the opening singles match of the day, Sakkari defeated American Jessica Pegula in two tiebreak sets. At Dickies Arena, No. 5 seed Sakkari defeated No. 3 Pegula 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) after surviving two tense tiebreakers.

Sabalenka remarked after her shocking victory, "I'm just trying to enjoy every second being here, and I'm just trying to do my best and see what the remaining week of the season can bring."

"I simply advised her to "keep trying, keep battling, and make sure that she has to do something extraordinary, not like an easy win" if she wants to win this match. And I believe that's why I applied a little bit more pressure to her, and I was successful in winning it at the crucial times "the Belarusian was said.

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