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Sabalenka vs Alexandrova WTA St. Petersburg live steaming, preview and tips - Sabalenka seeks second win over Alexandrova this season

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 31 Jan 2019
  • Aryna Sabalenka vs Ekaterina Alexandrova is live from St. Petersburg at 1.00pm local time on Friday (10.00am GMT)
  • Sabalenka won in straight sets when they squared off in Shenzhen at the start of 2019
Aryna Sabalenka (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Aryna Sabalenka targets her second semi-final of the season when she takes on local hope Ekaterina Alexandrova in the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy quarter-finals on Friday.

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World No. 10 Aryna Sabalenka continues her quest for a second WTA title of 2019 against Russian qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova in the St. Petersburg quarter-finals on Friday.

Playing her first match as the newest member of the top 10, Sabalenka didn’t waste any time in advancing to the last eight, easing past the challenge of Alison Van Uytvanck in straight sets on Thursday. Sabalenka breezed through the opening set in swift fashion, and while the Belgian put up a bigger fight in the second, the fourth seed remained steady and recovered from 0-30 down while serving for the match to register a 6-1 6-4 victory, avenging a loss to Van Uytvanck in Mallorca last year.

Despite cracking the world’s elite for the first time, Sabalenka says it doesn’t change anything as she prepares to step out on court.

"It was a great match, it was a great start actually," Sabalenka said. "In the second set, I had a little bit of problems with my serve, but I’m happy that I could win this set, because actually I didn’t want to play three sets.
"It’s just on the paper that I’m a Top 10 player," Sabalenka continued. "I still need to go on the court, I still need to play my best tennis, put everything on the court, push myself through everything."

Breaking into the top 10 is the latest in a long string of achievements Sabalenka has gathered over the last year or so. Ending the 2017 season at No. 96 in the world, Sabalenka broke into the top 15 by the end of 2018 courtesy of a brilliant breakout year that included winning her first two WTA titles in New Haven and Wuhan, runner-up finishes in Lugano and Eastbourne, a semi-final showing in Cincinnati and a fourth round display at the U.S. Open, where she was the only player to take a set off eventual champion Naomi Osaka.

The 20-year-old has continued her fine form into 2019, capturing her third WTA title in Shenzhen to launch the season, however she would have been disappointed with a third round exit at the Australian Open to teenager Amanda Anisimova. That loss shows that Sabalenka still has a lot of work to do if she wants to win the biggest prizes on tour, but she’s undoubtedly on the right track as she gears up for the St. Petersburg quarter-finals on Thursday.

Ekaterina Alexandrova (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Before this week, Ekaterina Alexandrova had never won a main draw match in St. Petersburg, losing in qualifying in her two previous appearances. Alexandrova was forced to go through qualifying again, but this time she managed to successfully work her way into the main event, where she’s received a rather fortuitous draw, beating lucky loser Katie Boulter in three sets before a 7-5 6-2 victory over fellow qualifier Tereza Martincova in the second round on Thursday.


With a career-high ranking of No. 69 achieved in September of 2017 after winning multiple ITF titles and making the second rounds of the French and U.S. Opens, Alexandrova struggled for the bulk of 2018, with a quarter-final appearance in Seoul her best result until her final tournament of the season in Linz, where she successfully qualified for the main draw before beating the likes of Katerina Siniakova, Johanna Larsson, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrea Petkovic to reach her maiden WTA final before going down to Camila Giorgi. That run propelled Alexandrova back into the top 100, and she’s worked her way back up to No. 78 after reaching the second round of Shenzhen to start 2019, while she also qualified for Sydney before losing in the first round of the Australian Open to Lesia Tsurenko.

Sabalenka and Alexandrova will be playing for the second time this season already after the Belarusian prevailed 6-3 6-3 on her way to the Shenzhen title. Alexandrova is on a nice run in St. Petersburg and will have the home support, but she hasn’t faced anyone really close to the calibre of player Sabalenka is so far. The World No. 10 will be better for the run after beating Van Uytvanck and should have too much firepower for the Russian on Thursday.


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Sabalenka vs Alexandrova WTA St. Petersburg live steaming, preview and tips - Sabalenka seeks second win over Alexandrova this season

Aryna Sabalenka targets her second semi-final of the season when she takes on local hope Ekaterina Alexandrova in the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy quarter-finals on Friday.

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