Aryna Sabalenka: Shelby Rogers always plays fast and puts me under pressure

Aryna Sabalenka said she expected Shelby Rogers to show up with her best tennis and that’s why she entered their Australian Open match knowing she needed to be fully focused right from the start.

Sabalenka, seeded at No 5, saw off Rogers 6-3 6-1 to progress into the Australian Open third round.

“She’s such a great player. She always plays really fast and she puts me under pressure. Today, I expected a great level from her. That’s why I stayed focused from the beginning to the end, and probably that’s why I was able to win this one in two sets, but always tough matches against Shelby,” Sabalenka said after beating Rogers, per Tennis Majors.

Sabalenka managed to get the job done against Rogers

The first break points of the match were seen in the second game, when Sabalenka missed out on two break points.

After saving two break points, Rogers earned the first break of the match in the third game. 

In the fourth game, Sabalenka missed out on two more break points as Rogers took a 3-1 lead.

After blowing four early break points and struggling to convert her chances, Sabalenka stepped up her game as she claimed back-to-back breaks in the sixth and eighth games to win five games in a row and seal the first set. 

At the start of the second set, Rogers saved a break point to end Sabalenka’s run of five consecutive games won. 

In the second game, Rogers had a break point which could have given her a 2-0 lead – but she didn’t convert.

From that moment, there was only one player on the court as Sabalenka claimed three breaks and won six consecutive games to complete a two-set in impressive style.

Now, Sabalenka owns a 3-0 head-to-head record against Rogers.

Last year, Sabalenka defeated Rogers on the grass courts of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Also, Sabalenka earned a tight three-set win over Rogers in Cincinnati last year.