Shaky Sabalenka into Australian Open 3rd round


MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka shrugged off a shaky serve and 19 double-faults to beat Wang Xinyu 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 and advance to the third round of the Australian Open.

Sabalenka double-faulted 12 times in the opening set, including nine in her first two service games as she fell behind 3-0 in less than 15 minutes.

But she cleared her head after a trip to the locker room following the first set, and rediscovered her form.

The U.S. Open and Wimbledon semifinalist said she had “a lot of experience of playing without the serve," and she kept telling herself she had enough other shots to win “even if you can’t serve.”

Sabalenka made a stuttering start to 2022, with her service woes including a combined 39 double-faults contributing to first-round losses at tuneup events in Adelaide.

Sabalenka will face No. 31-seeded Marketa Vondrousova in the next round.

Shaky Sabalenka into Australian Open 3rd round
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