Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens Announce Sad News After Clinching Australian Open 2021 Crown

Published 02/19/2021, 6:21 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Doubles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 19, 2021 Belgium’s Elise Mertens and Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka celebrate with the trophy after winning the women’s doubles final against Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova REUTERS/Kelly Defina TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY


Belarussian tennis star Aryna Sabalenka and her Belgian peer Elise Mertens have decided to put a temporary hold on their immensely successful doubles pairing. The pair was seeded second coming into the Grand Slam championship.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Continuing with their winning run, the pair lifted the women’s doubles crown at the Australian Open on Friday, beating Czech duo Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-2, 6-3.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Sabalenka and Elise Mertens put a temporary hold on doubles pairing

It is understood that the seventh-ranked Belarussian wants to focus more on singles and conserve her energy for big tournaments. Sabalenka reached the fourth round of the singles championship at Melbourne Park, where she was beaten in three sets by 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

While the pair has decided to consciously uncouple, a phrase often used to describe a split in amicable terms, Sabalenka and Mertens will keep featuring together in some 1000 and 500 tournaments on the WTA calendar.

Tennis – Australian Open – Women’s Doubles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 19, 2021, Belgium’s Elise Mertens and Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka celebrate winning their final doubles match against Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova REUTERS/Kelly Defina

The 16th ranked Belgian, too, made the fourth round of the singles championship before going out in straight sets to Czech star Karolina Muchova.

Her passage to Round-4 included an upset victory over Swiss tennis star Belinda Bencic.

Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens followed up their 2019 US Open win with Australian Open doubles title on Friday

The pair also clinched the 2019 US Open women’s doubles title, their first at partners, beating Australian World Number 1 Ash Barty and two-time Grand Slam winner Victoria Azarenka.

On her decision to focus on singles, going forward, Sabalenka said, “For sure I like to play doubles. I just want to try something else.”

The Belarussian had been on an incredible winning run in singles coming into Melbourne Park, as she followed up her championship victories at Linz and Ostrava in 2020 with a glory run at the Abu Dhabi WTA this year.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

On whether she would pair up again with the Belgian, Sabalenka said, “I hope if one day I make a decision to come back in doubles, I have this girl over here for me.”

DIVE DEEPER

‘Really Glad’: Aryna Sabalenka and Elise Mertens Reach Massive Heights With Australian Open 2021 Triumph

3 months ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

To that, Mertens said she would gladly decide to join up with her good friend if she does decide to return to doubles.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Priyabrata Chowdhury

825 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT