Australian Open: Aryna Sabalenka beats former doubles partner Elise Mertens
Belgium's Elise Mertens (WTA-32) failed to qualify for the eighth finals of the Australian Open on Saturday. The 27-year-old lost 6-2, 6-3 to her former doubles partner Aryna Sabalenka (WTA-5) in the third round in 1 hour and 14 minutes.
Sabalenka is the fifth series leader in Melbourne, where she won the doubles with Mertens in 2021 but has not been very prominent in singles. The 24-year-old Belarusian was a semifinalist at Wimbledon (2021) and the US Open (2021 and 2022) but matched her best result at the Australian Open with a spot in the eighth final. To improve her performance this year, she will have to get past 25-year-old Swiss Belinda Bencic (WTA-10) in her next match.
Elise Mertens hits a return against Aryna Sabalenka during their Australian Open women's singles match, 21 January 2023 © Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP