Sabalenka was in great spirits after starting her US Open campaign strong.
Aryna Sabalenka hilariously told the US Open crowd if she was a spectator she would have left the match after the third double fault that she hit. On Tuesday, No 2 seed Sabalenka served eight double faults but still sealed a pretty routine 6-3 6-2 win over Maryna Zanevska in the US Open first round.
After hitting six double faults in the first set, Sabalenka lowered the number in the second set as she hit two double faults during the set. In her on-court speech, Sabalenka made a hilarious remark that led to the crowd bursting into laughter.
“Thank you guys for keep staying. If I would be you, after the third double fault, I would just leave this stadium. So thank you so much for staying and being patient,” Sabalenka jokingly said.
Sabalenka on beating Zanevska
Zanevska, 30, announced on August 8th her plans to retire after the US Open due to chronic back pain.
Early in the match, Zanevska was twice up by a break but Sabalenka both times came back. After twice coming back from a break down, Sabalenka broke Zanevska again in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead and then held on to her service for the remainder of the set to clinch the first set.
In the second set, Zanevska had a 2-0 lead before Sabalenka won the next six games to complete a two-set win.
Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport – Matthew Stockman
“It was tough, a tough start, it was so humid, I mean I couldn’t hold my racket so I’m really glad I was able to get through the situation and get this win.
I think she played unbelievable match. She [Zanevska] fought till the end and I’m just super happy with the win. I think I’m the most pleased with my focus that no matter what, I was able to focus on myself and not on the score and just keep doing keep trying to find my rhythm, my game.
Hopefully, I’ll do better with every game. I felt so sorry for her and I think she played great match and this is… I mean this a great match to finish her career and I wish she could play many more years but it is how it is and I wish her all the best in her next chapter,” Sabalenka said.