Kremlin Cup: Sabalenka returns with win over Tomljanovic

Aryna Sabalenka played for the first time since reaching the U.S. Open semifinals and subsequently testing positive for the coronavirus, beating Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-1 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Kremlin Cup.

(File Photo) Aryna Sabalenka played for the first time since reaching the U.S. Open semifinals and subsequently testing positive for the coronavirus, beating Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals of the Kremlin Cup.   -  Getty Images

Aryna Sabalenka played a match for the first time since reaching the U.S. Open semifinals and subsequently testing positive for the coronavirus, beating Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-1 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the Kremlin Cup.

The second-ranked Belarusian, who had a bye in the first round, had 10 aces but also made 30 unforced errors.

“She’s a tough opponent for the first match after a long time out on a break,” Sabalenka said. “I calmed down a bit and started playing well.”

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Sabalenka had not played since her three-set loss to Leylah Fernandez in the U.S. Open semifinals. She was due to play in Indian Wells, California, but said she had tested positive for the coronavirus the day before play started.

Sabalenka will next play Ekaterina Alexandrova, who beat Anhelina Kalinina 6-4, 6-1.

Garbine Muguruza beat Tereza Martincova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to set up a quarterfinal match against either Anett Kontaveit or Andrea Petkovic. Fourth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Bernarda Pera 6-2, 7-5 in the second round.

In the men's competition, third-seeded Karen Khachanov reached the quarterfinals with a 3-6, 6-3 6-1 win over James Duckworth. Another Australian awaits Khachanov in the next round after John Millman progressed with a 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 win over qualifier Illya Marchenko.

Marin Cilic, a two-time champion at the Kremlin Cup, made it to the quarterfinals by beating Taylor Paul 7-5, 6-3.

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