Aryna Sabalenka - Indian Wells 2023

Sabalenka reignites form to spark hopes of a third Madrid Open title

Aryna Sabalenka seems to have rekindled the form that led her to Madrid Open titles in 2021 and 2023 by defeating Danielle Collins, the WTA Tour’s most inform player.

The Belarusian dug deep to come from behind to advance to the quarterfinal stage with a 4-6 6-4 6-3 win that finished after midnight.

In snapping Collins’ imposing 15-match win streak, Sabalenka remains on track to defend her title from 12 months ago, bidding to become the first three-time champion in the Spanish capital since Petra Kvitova in 2018.

“Thanks so much for staying so late and supporting us”, the world No.2 said while addressing the crowd.

“That’s why I really love Madrid, because you guys are unbelievable and you make this tournament so special. Thank you so much for all the support and an incredible atmosphere.”

Turning point for Sabalenka in her campaign?

The contest speaks volumes about the emphatic form that Collins has been able to muster up in her final season on tour, but it also signals a potential rise in Sabalenka’s level following a rare blip.

The match constituted a sixth successive three-set contest for the 25-year-old who has been battling off-court issues over the past few months.

Though she was able to come through an epic battle, using her aggression to full effect to defeat the American after two hours and twenty four minutes of action.

After defending her Australian Open title in January, Sabalenka has failed to make the quarterfinal stage in either of the three WTA1000 tournaments she has contested.

But it is clear she relishes the conditions at the Caja Magica, and if there is to be a turning point, it is perhaps fitting that it take place in Madrid.

The 2023 final in which Sabalenka drowned her counterpart Iga Swiatek in three enthralling sets is widely regarded as one of the matches of the year.

And the two are on a collision course to meet in this year’s final in what would be a first meeting between the pair since the WTA Finals in Cancun last November.

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Jerome Coombe, Tennishead Writer, discovered his love for tennis journalism whilst studying languages and playing competitive tennis. He has a vast knowledge of tennis and strives to shed a light on all corners of the sport.