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Tennis: Sabalenka slips without trembling into 8th in Rome

World No.

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Tennis: Sabalenka slips without trembling into 8th in Rome

World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka beat Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska for the first time in four meetings to reach the round of 16 of the WTA 1000 tournament in Rome on Sunday.

Sabalenka, finalist in Madrid last weekend, won against the 33rd in the world in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. The Belarusian had to wait until the seventh game of the first set to take her opponent's serve, then pocket the set in 34 minutes. Yastremska, who had always beaten her - the last time in the semi-final of the Adelaide tournament in 2020 - then lost her footing and her serve twice.

In the round of 16, Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open in January, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, will face another Ukrainian, Elina Svitolina (19th), who beat the Russian Anna Kalinskaya ( 26th) 6-4, 6-4. In the results of their confrontations, Sabalenka leads two victories to one, the last dating back to Roland-Garros 2023 in the quarter-finals.

As is the case when Belarusians or Russians and Ukrainians cross paths on the WTA circuit since the start of the war in Ukraine, the players in these two meetings did not shake hands at the net after the match point.

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