Aryna Sabalenka in action against Alison Riske during their Shenzhen Open final Saturday. Liu Xudong
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus got a confidence boost for the upcoming Australian Open after beating Alison Riske of the United States 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 in the Shenzhen Open final Saturday.
In the doubles final, China’s Peng Shuai and Yang Zhaoxuan beat Duan Yingying of China and Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-3.
“To start the season with a title, it gives you more belief in yourself, and hopefully I can do well at the Australian Open,” Sabalenka said.
“I tried to be focused on each point in the second match and just tried to do my best and fight for every point,” she said.
Both players earlier won their semifinals after rain Thursday disrupted the tournament schedule. Top-seeded Sabalenka defeated local favorite Wang Yafan 6-2, 6-1, and Riske won the first seven games against Vera Zvonareva before the Russian retired due to a left hip injury.
“It was a tough day for us, especially to come back after the first set,” Sabalenka said. “She was putting everything in, down the lines. I’m so happy that I found a way how to win.”
Riske was making her third appearance in the final at Shenzhen.
“I love Shenzhen and hope to be back many years. It holds a special place in my heart,” Riske said.
“Even though I had no one here with me this week, I feel like I have a ton of support, which is always special,” she added.
The Australian Open starts Jan. 14.