Australian Open Results: Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elise Mertens, sets up clash with Belinda Bencic in fourth round at Australian Open 2023

Australian Open Results: Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elise Mertens: Aryna Sabalenka continued her fine run of form by moving into the Australian Open…

Australian Open Results: Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elise Mertens, sets up clash with Belinda Bencic in fourth round at Australian Open 2023
Australian Open Results: Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elise Mertens, sets up clash with Belinda Bencic in fourth round at Australian Open 2023

Australian Open Results: Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elise Mertens: Aryna Sabalenka continued her fine run of form by moving into the Australian Open fourth round on Saturday and the Belarusian, who has not dropped a set in 2023, says refusing to let negative emotions control her has been key to her success. Follow Australian Open 2023 live updates with InsidesSport.IN

Australian Open Results: Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elise Mertens, sets up clash with Belinda Bencic in fourth round at Australian Open 2023

Runner-up at the WTA Finals last year, Sabalenka has apologised for unsportsmanlike behaviour in the past, be it for throwing away her racquet or refusing to shake hands with opponents. But the 24-year-old seems to have found inner peace this year.

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She won a warm-up event in Adelaide before extending her win streak in Melbourne with a straight sets victory over former doubles partner Elise Mertens. “I need to be a little bit boring on court,” Sabalenka told reporters. “It’s still about a lot of positive emotions for me, but I’m trying to stay away from negative (emotions) and just fight for every point.”

The fifth seed said she wished she could have discovered the benefits of a less explosive approach earlier in her career. “Finally I understand what everyone was looking for and asking for,” she added. “I think there were a few moments when I was about to throw my racquet or scream something. Because I hold myself really strong in those moments, after that I feel like it’s a little bit more natural right now.”

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Sabalenka next plays Belinda Bencic in the battle of the warm-up tournament champions after the Swiss won the second event in Adelaide. “She’s a great fighter, a great player, moving well, hitting the ball quite clean,” Sabalenka said. “I have to stay really aggressive in the first few shots … I have to be ready like a tiger, stay low and ready for that.”

Bencic hopes to get some pointers from her coach Dmitry Tursunov, who previously coached Sabalenka before they split in 2019. “Sabalenka is very aggressive player, has a lot of power… Dmitry was her coach before, so he can help me a lot, I hope,” Bencic said.

Australian Open Results: Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elise Mertens, sets up clash with Belinda Bencic in fourth round at Australian Open 2023

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