August 25, 2018 / 9:57 PM / a year ago

Sabalenka wins first WTA title at Connecticut Open

FILE PHOTO: Aug 18, 2018; Mason, OH, USA; Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) returns a shot against Simona Halep (ROU) in the Western and Southern tennis open at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports - 11100080

Aryna Sabalenka beat Carla Suarez Navarro in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 on Saturday to win her first WTA title at the Connecticut Open in New Haven.

The 20-year-old from Belarus won the first five games of the match, and Suarez Navarro could break her serve only once in the 74-minute match, which is the final tuneup before next week’s U.S. Open.

This was just the second full match of the tournament for Suarez Navarro. The Spaniard’s second-round opponent withdrew with illness, and her opponents in the quarterfinals and semifinals retired with injuries.

Sabalenka hit 29 winners during the match and won 60 percent of Suarez Navarro’s second serves. She will move to No. 20 in the rankings next week. She is the youngest woman to win the Connecticut Open since Caroline Wozniacki also won at age 20 in 2010.

The first set took just 24 minutes to play.

The second set saw improved play by Suarez Navarro, who won the kind of service games she couldn’t in the first set.

Tied at 4-4, however, Savarro was serving with a 40-15 lead. Her next serve was called an ace, which Sabalenka challenged and the call was overturned. She took the game to deuce, and Sabalenka won on her third break point.

Suarez Navarro took Sabalenka to break point in the next game but couldn’t capitalize, giving Sabalenka the game. She finished off the next game to win the match.

—Field Level Media

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