Sabalenka fends off brilliant Boulter to advance at Wimbledon
World No. 4 Aryna Sabalenka recovered from a set down to fend off a spirited challenge from Katie Boulter in the first round at Wimbledon.
Sabalenka defeated the Brit 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and five minutes in the opening round on Centre Court at the All England Club.
‘The Tiger’ was a heavy going into the match, as the number two seed seeks a maiden Grand Slam title. The Centre Court crowd roared on British Boulter, who responded with some fantastic tennis. The 24-year-old gained a crucial break at 3-3, then followed up with a superb display of serving to secure the first set.
Sabalenka found her serve and forehand in the second set, firing six aces and 11 winners. Boulter fought hard to try and rescue the set, but the Belarusian held her nerve to take it 6-3 and force a decider.
Boulter recovered from 1-3 down to 3-3 after receiving treatment on an elbow issue, however Sabalenka found some huge ground-strokes to overpower the Brit and win the deciding set 6-3.
— LTA (@the_LTA) June 30, 2021
“It was really tough, Katie is an unbelievable player. I really wanted to win. It was a great atmosphere, I enjoyed it from start to finish. Thanks to the supporters for their support, it means so much.”
“I was nervous, I didn’t start well. I’m pleased to play well from the second set and come back to win the match.” Sabalenka said in her post-match interview.
Sabalenka will face either Ekaterina Alexandrova or Maria Camila Serrano in the third round.
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