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Mertens, Sabalenka clinch Australian Open women’s doubles title

MELBOURNE (Agencies): Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka beat Czech pair Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-2 6-3 to win the Australian Open women’s doubles title on Friday for their second Grand Slam trophy together.

Seeded second at Melbourne Park, the pair won their maiden major at the 2019 U.S. Open and the victory at the Rod Laver Arena was their fifth title overall.

However, they will not be teaming up at Grand Slam events for the rest of 2021 as Sabalenka wants to focus on singles. “I’m just trying to put my whole focus on singles,” Sabalenka told reporters, adding that the pair will be playing WTA events in Dubai and Miami next.

“I know that doubles, it’s not that hard, you’re not moving that much than on singles. “It still takes a lot of energy. I just want to save it for singles,” added Sabalenka, who is ranked No.7 in the world in singles.

Belgian Mertens, ranked 16th in singles, and Sabalenka of Belarus exited the Australian Open women’s singles draw in the fourth round.

In Friday’s doubles final, the pair wasted three championship points before Sabalenka set up a fourth with an ace and they wrapped up the match when Siniakova sent a backhand wide. They celebrated with their signature leap together while holding the trophy.

“We had a tough draw actually in doubles, so we’re really happy that we pulled through,” said Mertens. “Some days … like today, we just kept on fighting.”

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