Aryana Sabalenka of Belarus has clinched the season-opening women’s title by beating Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova 6-2 6-2 at the Abu Dhabi WTA Tennis Open on Wednesday.
The current world number 10 built on her strong performances from the end of last season to notch her third consecutive title in Abu Dhabi.
Sabalenka, now with nine career WTA singles titles, is projected to rise to a new career-high ranking of world number seven when the WTA singles rankings are updated on Monday.
She is one of the favourites at the Australian Open, which is set to start on Feb. 8 in Melbourne having been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
All players taking part in the event must quarantine in the country for two weeks according to Australian entry requirements during the global pandemic.