Elina Svitolina produced a dominant performance to claim the Brisbane International women’s title. The Ukrainian No. 3 seed was facing off against qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Svitolina was too much for the Belarusian Sasnovich. Aliaksandra, ranked 88 in the world has been a bit of a giant killer in the tournament. Svitolina won with a score of 6-2, 6-1 in just 65 minutes to claim her 10th career title,
Sasnovich had a shaky start but managed to recover from 0-3 and three break points down. She held serve for 1-3 and again for 2-4. But Svitolina piled on the pressure until the Belarusian cracked. She broke Sasnovich again to convert the second set point with a backhand winner. Svitolina said, “It’s nice to see a full crowd here. I have no words because I had such a tough off-season, everyone had a tough off-season, but to start with a trophy is always very, very special.”
Sasnovich was understandably gutted and apologised for her performance in the final. She said, “Sorry for my play today. Thank you very much to my team, my dad and my coach, you’re always near me. I have a very tough character but, coach, thank you that you are anywhere with me. It was a good week for me and thank you Brisbane.”
Sasnovich was unsettled during the entire match, even though she qualified successfully and troubled the main draw. The 23-year-old upset No. 6 seed Kristina Mladenovic in the first round. In the quarterfinals, she defeated 2017 runner-up Alize Cornet. In the semifinals, seventh seed Anastasija Sevastova went down and Sasnovich became the first qualifier in the event’s history to reach the final.
Despite the loss, she shot up into the top 60. The second set was tougher for Aliaksandra and the eventual champion soon raced to to a 5-0 lead. Svitolina held championship point until Sasnovich hit an ace. Sasnovich held her serve, but Svitolina would not be denied any further. Svitolina is likely to move to No. 4 from 6th after her Brisbane performance.