Sabalenka beats doubles partner Mertens to win WTA Linz title

Linz (Austria) (AFP) –


Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka finished the 2020 WTA season in style, winning her third title of the year with a straight-sets victory over her doubles partner Elise Mertens in the Linz final on Sunday.

Top seed Sabalenka saw off the second-seeded Mertens 7-5, 6-2 to tie Simona Halep for most tournament triumphs in the coronavirus-disrupted season.

The usual year-ending WTA Finals in China were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving the event in Austria as the last of the campaign.

Sabalenka has now won nine straight matches after also taking the title in Ostrava last month.

It was the 22-year-old's eighth career title.

Belgium's Mertens remains without a trophy since the Qatar Open in February 2019.