Sports

Beating Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Elina Svitolina Claims Brisbane International Final

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| January 7 , 2018 , 16:09 IST

Ahead of Australian Open, Ukraine's Elina Svitolina has laid down her serious contendership for the tournament by claiming the Brisbane International final by beating Belarusian qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday.

After winning five titles on the WTA tour last year, World number six Svitolina is reported to jump two places when the new rankings are released on Monday. Her claim of working hard in the off-season to improve her game might pay-off with Elina entering into the year's first Grand Slam as the fourth seed.

"I've started to play more consistently and there are lots of things that changed," Svitolia claimed. "I'm stronger physically. I have a different look to my game," she added. "I was playing better and better and my serve worked really good during this week."

Her journey to top in the Brisbane Internationals was anything but easy. She talked the top-10 players including Johanna Konta, Karolina Pliskova and former world number six Carla Suarez Navarro along her way.

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"I didn't have any expectations for this week -- I was just trying to take it one match at a time," she said. "The first match was quite tough against Suarez Navarro. And I had a very tough draw. It was very important to use what I was working on during the offseason, and it was working," Elina admitted.

Sasnovich was evidently struggling to cope with both the Ukrainian's serve and her relentless barrage of groundstrokes from the back of the court, allowing Svitolina an easy victory in the finals. Playing her first final on the WTA tour, Sasnovich's nerves were skyrocketing.

Sasnovich was playing her eighth match in nine days making her movement sluggish and slow around the court. However, she refused to blame her busy schedule for her performance. "I don't know why it's like this, why I played so bad," she bellowed.

Despite being defeated, the Belarusian is determined to do well in the upcoming matches and prepare herself mentally and physically for the Australian Open. "I played some good matches and this one was bad," she admitted. The player will rise 35 places in the world ranking to 53rd.