July 24, 2024
Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka rallied from a set down to end Danielle Collins‘ 15-match winning streak in a high-quality encounter. Sabalenka had 39 wins and 20 unforced errors, whereas Collins had 30 wins and 27 unforced errors, demonstrating the level of quality. We do not see these types of numbers on clay. Some of their shot-making was spectacular.

Aryna Sabalenka dug deep to turn the match in her favour
Danielle Collins was the better player for a set and a half, while Sabalenka wasn’t reliably finding her first serve in the first set. The long Sabalenka service game at 3-4 in the second set, where she saved multiple break points and made some exceptional shots, was the turning point of the match. Sabalenka’s performance from that point on was her best since the Australian Open. There wasn’t much the American could do after that as she was blown off the court.

The latter half of the match was all Sabalenka, whom we’ve come to expect for much of the last couple of years but haven’t seen much of lately. If Collins had managed to break in the eighth game of the second set, the match could have been over in straight sets, but Sabalenka just kept digging.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka

The Australian Open champion mixed her flawless power hitting with some finesse drop shots to keep her opponent guessing. In the last two sets, her backhand down the line was insane, and the way she moved was impressive. She was sliding and gliding all over the court.

Collins had an incredible run, but unfortunately, it had to end. She fought against a proven elite player until the end. It took the World No. 2 to finish her win streak, and Sabalenka had to find her top form to do it; absolutely no shame in that.

It will be interesting to see what Collins has in store for the rest of the season. It’s great to see Sabalenka playing like this again after a difficult time on and off the court. She loves playing in Madrid, and this tournament could be a turning point for her after a few bad months.

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