APRIL 21 - MAY 4, 2025

Sabalenka proves she can dig deep in Madrid

After serving up her tenth ace of the day to seal the deal, Aryna Sabalenka let out a cry to the skies of Madrid in celebration of her victorious opener. The defending champion had to shake off a dogged Magda Linette in a battle that lasted 2 hours and 9 minutes (6-4, 3-6, 6-3).

Sabalenka’s win over the Pole was her thirteenth at the Mutua Madrid Open, and her seventh on the trot. However, the first match in her campaign to equal Petra Kvitova’s three titles in the Spanish capital was no easy ride.

The second seed was her usual aggressive self in the Manolo Santana Stadium, ending the encounter having hit 47 winners against Linette, and having been forced to save 8 of the 9 break points against her and convert 2 out of the 6 she earned herself.

Despite the fact that Sabalenka was 3-0 up in their head-to-head, her last clash with Linette, in the semi-finals of the Australian Open (2023), was also a very tight encounter. “She’s a tough opponent. I played some matches before against her and today was a tough match. I also had some ups and downs but I’m happy because I was able to close this match and get through to another one”, she said.

The WTA world No. 2 also thanked the fans in the Caja Mágica and even spoke a tiny bit of Spanish. ”I feel good here. I just want to say ‘gracias Madrid’ for all the support. So far that’s almost everything I learned in Spanish (laughs). Thank you for this atmosphere and for supporting me in this tough round”, she added.

About her free time between matches in Madrid, Sabalenka showed on social media that she took a break at El Retiro emblematic park. “El Retiro is beautiful. I like Madrid because is a green city and I’m enjoy spending time in parks and walk around at different atmospheres to take some relax”, she concluded.

The two-time Australian Open champion will be back on court on Sunday against the winner of the clash between Briton Katie Boulter (26) and American player Robin Montgomery.