Sabalenka advances at Top Seed Open

Lexington, Aug 11 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/11/2020 10:15:31 AM IST

World No .11 Aryna Sabalenka made a winning return at the WTA’s resumption in the United States as she battled past America’s Madison Brengle to enter the second round at the inaugural Top Seed Open.

The No.2 seeded player from Belarus defeated Brengle 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2 after nearly two-and-a-half hours of play on Monday.

“(Brengle) played really well, she moved really well,” Sabalenka said during an on-court post-match interview as per the WTA website. “It was tough. I just tried to stay in the game, tried to think clean, and fight to the end, like I usually did.”

“I was really waiting for tennis to get back. I was just trying to stay in the tournament, stay in the rallies, stay in the game as long as I can, and I think I did everything I could. Of course I could play better, but I think for the first match, it’s okay,” she added.

Sabalenka, who won her sixth career WTA singles title in Doha earlier this season, will next face the winner of an all-American encounter between rising teenager Coco Gauff and qualifier Caroline Dolehide.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Jo Konta suffered a health scare as she crashed out of the opening round with a straight-sets defeat to the Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova.

Third seed Konta requested medical attention just a few minutes into her 6-4, 6-4 first round loss to the unseeded Bouzkova.

The 29-year-old Briton looked uncomfortable and kept holding two fingers to her neck to check her pulse before eventually resuming play.

Konta later explained that she is prone to sudden palpitations that can send her heart rate soaring.

“My heart rate shoots up for no reason, we didn’t have a long point, I wasn’t gassing in any way in my lungs,” Konta said. 

“It makes me a bit lightheaded, I just had to see the doctor and the physio. I was having all the checks. I am as fit as a fiddle but it can happen. It took a while to settle down until about 4-3 in the first set, but then it did settle down and I was able to concentrate on the tennis.”

The Top Seed Open is the first WTA Tour event in the US since the COVID pandemic shut down the circuit in March.


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