WTA Abu Dhabi: Aryna Sabalenka blitzes Veronika Kudermetova to take title
Photo: WTA

Aryna Sabalenka is the champion of the Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Open after a convincing 6-2, 6-2 victory over Veronika Kudermetova in exactly one hour to earn the first title of the 2021 WTA Tour.

The victory was Sabalenka's 15th straight match win as she adds this title to Ostrava and Linz which she won at the end of 2020. The Belarussian moves to a career-high seventh in the latest rankings.

Sabalenka routs Kudermetova to cap off dominant week in Abu Dhabi

The first five games were routine until Kudermetova hit consecutive double faults to give Sabalenka a break point and the fourth seed took full advantage, blasting a backhand that Kudermetova netted for a 4-2 lead.

After a swift hold brought her to within a game of the opening set, Sabalenka had double set point following a failed drop shot by Kudermetova and after the Russian fired a forehand wide, the Belarussian held a one-set lead.

Sabalenka continued to power through the match, crushing a crosscourt backhand that Kudermetova had no answer for to claim a 2-0 lead. The Russian did break back, but a series of untimely errors handed the fourth seed the advantage once again.

A series of breaks followed that gave the Belarussian a 5-2 lead and after cracking another picture-perfect return to reach championship point, a final forehand long by Kudermetova gave Sabalenka her ninth career title.