Terrified Aryna Sabalenka nearly won the DROPS Madrid Open trophy after a ticker exploded during the ceremony (VIDEO) – RT Sport News
Aryna Sabalenka picked up a surprise victory over seed Ashleigh Barty to seal the Madrid Open title before suffering a shock as the Belarusian nearly lost the trophy when an explosion sounded at the handover ceremony prices.
Ranked fifth on the clay courts in the Spanish capital, Sabalenka beat Australia’s world number one in straight sets, 6-0 3-6 6-4, on Saturday.
The first rout of the set was the first time Barty had failed to win a match in a set for four years, while his 16-game winning streak on clay also came to an end.
The Belarusian won a 10th career singles title and also took revenge on her Australian rival, who came from behind to beat her in the final in Stuttgart two weeks ago.
After bursting into a beaming smile and a short victory dance to seal the victory, Sabalenka, 23, suffered an unwanted shock after receiving the vase-shaped trophy on stage, nearly dropping it as an explosion of confetti echoed.
Clinging to his chest as the crowd gasped, Sabalenka and Barty burst out laughing as fans cheered and the ticker rained down on the pitch.
Sabalenka’s victory – now tied 4-4 in head-to-head encounters with Barty – will give him confidence as he heads to the clay courts at Roland Garros later this month.
The Belarusian has never made it past the fourth round in a Grand Slam, but is expected to improve at this year’s Roland Garros as she climbs to fourth in the world on Monday.
Barty, 25, will be among the favorites in Paris after winning a first Grand Slam title there in 2019.