Aryna Sabalenka's Grand Slam debut was a successful one, defeating Irina Khromacheva 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of Wimbledon. In a match that took just 73 minutes, the Belarussian displayed some terrific power hitting and poise that saw her come through qualifying.
The 19-year old, one of the heroes of Belarus' Fed Cup campaign that saw them reach the final for the first time ever, wasn't broken as she advanced to a second round matchup with German Carina Witthoeft.
Quick start for the teenager
If there were any nerves for Sabalenka, they certainly didn't show as the Belarussian won 12 of the first 13 points for a lightning-quick 3-0 lead. Khromacheva finally got on the board as she held to love.
In the fifth game, the Russian won the first point on Sabalenka's serve, but she made no further progression. In the seventh game, again she had an opening at 30-30, but the teenager again held strong.
Sabalenka would attempt to close out the set, but fell behind 15-30. The Belarusian scraped out of that deficit, winning the last three points to close out the set in half an hour.
Sabalenka takes tight second set
Khromacheva would start out the second set with a love hold and held a break point in the very next game, but her 136th-ranked opponent again escaped.
The Russian would have two more chances in the fourth game, the longest of the match at 16 points long. Sabalenka again showed maturity beyond her years to save both and hold.
At 4-4, Sabalenka finally broke through. After building a 0-30 lead on Khromacheva's serve, she brought up break point at 30-40, but the Russian saved it. After saving another, the third time proved to be too much as Sabalenka took the lead and proceeded to serve out the match to 15.