Sabalenka denies Azarenka's top 10 return dream at Montreal

Montreal (AFP) –


Aryna Sabalenka won a battle of Belarus on Friday, denying compatriot Victoria Azarenka the chance to return to the top 10 with a 6-2, 6-4 victory at the WTA Montreal Masters.

Azaranka, a 32-year-old with two Australian Open titles to her credit, last ranked in the elite group five years ago before motherhood.

The quarter-final success for top seed Sabalenka took 82 minutes, with the big-serving winner adding seven aces to her season's WTA-leading total of 265.

Sabalenka has now won three of four matches with her compatriot, including their last in October 2020 in Ostrava.

Azarenka played Canadian semi-finals in 2010 and 2011. Sabalenka was playing her eighth quarter-final of 2021, putting her in the joint lead in that statistical category with world number one Ashleigh Barty.