Libema Open: Ekaterina Alexandrova edges Aryna Sabalenka for S’Hertogenbosch title

Ekaterina Alexandrova posted a convincing win over Aryna Sabalenka to win the Libema Open title in S’Hertogenbosch on Sunday. Alexandrova won 7-5, 6-0 in an hour and 17 minutes.

Sabalenka began the match on a dominant note and broke Alexandrova to take an early lead in the first set but wasn’t able to maintain it for long. Alexandrova first broke back to bring the match on serve before securing a second break on Sabalenka’s serve to take the set. Alexandrova’s momentum didn’t slacken in the second set and Sabalenka wasn’t any match for her at all.

Alexandrova won 74% of her first-serve points and 52% of her second-serve points while Sabalenka won 60% of her first-serve points and only 27% of her second-serve points. Alexandrova had 16 winners to her rival’s 13 and she also finished with 18 unforced errors, 15 fewer than Sabalenka’s 31.

Libema Open: Ekaterina Alexandrova holds firm

After her win, Alexandrova shared, “Grass is a difficult surface for everyone because the bounce is unpredictable. You just need to try to do your best in every single shot because you don’t know what’s going to come next. When I played the first match here, I would never expect to play (the) finals here and win the title. It was so bad; I couldn’t hit anything inside the court. But match after match, it was easier to find the rhythm and find the game. In the last match, I found it, and I just tried to keep it during the whole match.”

The Libema Open title’s the second title of Ekaterina Alexandrova’s career in her fourth final. Her first and only other title came at the Shenzhen Open in 2020. This was also the fifth meeting between Aryna Sabalenka and Alexandrova with the latter now narrowly leading the head-to-head, 3-2.