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Home » News » Quiet Aryna Sabalenka Cleans Ahead of Good Friend Paula Badosa in Miami Second Round

Quiet Aryna Sabalenka Cleans Ahead of Good Friend Paula Badosa in Miami Second Round

Quiet Aryna Sabalenka Cleans Ahead of Good Friend Paula Badosa in Miami Second Round

On a regular day, the victory of world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka over the player ranked No. 80 would hardly make a stir in the tennis headlines. But on Friday afternoon at the Miami Open, witnessing Sabalenka quietly celebrate her second-round win felt like a victory in itself, regardless of its quiet nature.

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Initially scheduled to begin at 11 am, the rain caused a delay of six hours. Finally Sabalenka took the court on Grandstand after four days of concern. And assumptions surrounding the “unthinkable tragedy” in the death of Konstanin Koltsov, her ex-boyfriend on the eve of the tournament.

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The two-time Australian Open winner, Sabalenka showed incredible poise and resilience, along with her typical powerful style of tennis. She fired three aces and saved the only break point she faced against Paula Badosa, securing a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

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Sabalenka and Badosa Showcase Mental Strength on Court

Both of us are pretty strong mentally. We’re strong women. She proved it. I proved it. We knew how to disconnect in that one and a half hours of a match,” Badosa said in her post-match press conference. “She played really well. I played really well for where I’m coming from. I think it was quite decent.”

That all comes from because we know we’ve been through a lot in our lives. We’re strong women, and we know how to separate that in that moment.”

Sabalenka, the present world No. 2, was up against a former world No. 2 in Badosa, who is currently ranked No. 80 in midst of a struggle with lingering low back injury. But the parity in ranking between them barely appeared to be a factor, as Badosa and Sabalenka went toe to toe for most of each set.

The Belarusian broke serve once in the opening set and twice in the second to confirm her win in an hour and 24 minutes.

I wasn’t surprised at all (by Sabalenka’s level),” Badosa said. “She’s a very, very strong woman, strong personality. You can see it on the court. Especially I know her off court so it doesn’t surprise me at all.”

I knew she was going to play very well or like normal. I told her I wish her the best. Let’s see if she can go very deep in this tournament.”

Sabalenka and the Spaniard Badosa’s match, originally scheduled for Thursday, was moved back a day at the tournament’s discretion. The rest of the bottom half of the draw played yesterday, with No. 32 seed Anhelina Kalinina awaiting the winner after she toppled Caroline Wozniacki.