In the 45-minute match, Bertens was unable to force any breakpoints. Bertens, whose playing made a resigned impression and at times somewhat downbeat, had no comebacks to the hard serves and volleys of Sabalenka.
Bertens served 5-2 to stay in the game and almost made 5-3 with an ace. She boosted herself for the next game, but Sabalenka successfully appealed. Not much later she cashed in her fourth match point with a powerful forehand.
Last month Bertens also had to bow to Sabalenka in Wuhan, although the first four matches were still won by Bertens. A fifth win, however, was not a possibility. Bertens won only twelve points on her opponent’s store and lost three service games herself.
The 24-year-old Sabalenka, accompanied by former pro Dimitri Toersunov, only lost a set against the Belgian Elise Mertens this week. She is the successor to the Australian Ashleigh Barty, the number 1 in the world.
Tennis season closed
Bertens is now traveling through Shenzhen, where the tennis season will be concluded at the WTA Finals next week. The Dutch just did not qualify for the end-of-year tournament for the global top, but is first reserve.