Aryna Sabalenka wins 3rd straight title in Abu Dhabi

Sabalenka will rise three places to seventh in the rankings. She is 9-4 in career finals and 6-0 in the last 16 months.

15th consecutive win, 3rd title in a row, 9th title overall - not a bad run to start 2021 on for Sabalenka!   -  Getty Images

Aryna Sabalenka won her third straight tour title and 15th straight match by beating Veronika Kudermetova 6-2, 6-2 Wednesday in the Abu Dhabi Open final.

The fourth-seeded Belarusian, who won indoor tournaments in Ostrava and Linz at the end of last season, last lost in the fourth round of the French Open in October.

Sabalenka will rise three places to seventh in the rankings. She is 9-4 in career finals and 6-0 in the last 16 months. Kudermetova was playing in her first tour final.

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The tournament in Abu Dhabi was hastily arranged by the WTA to offer players more match time after the Australian Open was rescheduled for February amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sabalenka and Kudermetova will now travel to Australia, where they will spend time in quarantine with limited practice opportunities ahead of the Australian Open and its warm-up events.

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