Melbourne, Feb 19 (IANS) Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka won their second Grand Slam doubles title on Friday at the Australian Open but the pair won’t be competing together in Grand Slams for the rest of the season. Sabalenka said after the match that she will be concentrating on her singles career this year.
“Together we’re not going to play Grand Slams, maybe a little bit of premier tournaments,” Sabalenka said on court after the match.
Both players had earlier reached the fourth round of the singles event at the Australian Open. While Mertens lost to Czech Karolina Muchova, Sabalenka lost to 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams. Sabalenka is ranked seventh in the WTA singles standings while Mertens is 16th.
“For this year, I want to put more focus on singles, so a little bit less doubles, see what happens. I just want to manage my energy. Still when you go out for doubles, you’re still there for competing, to put everything you have… I just want to try something different this year,” she further said.
Mertens said that she decided to stick to the net due to Sabalenka’s strength in service.
“I know she can do it with her serve, it’s like I’ll just stand at the net,” Mertens said. “We had a really good couple of weeks. We had a tough draw actually in doubles, so we really happy that we pulled through. Some days, like today, we just kept on fighting.”