Dubai Championships 2024: Vekic Defeats Sabalenka in Three Sets

Aryna Sabalenka, the second seed in Dubai, collapsed after leading Donna Vekic 7-6(5), 2-0, dropping 11 straight games to lose 0-6 in the deciding set after taking the first in a tiebreaker.

Written by Ayisha Nashva

On Feb 21, 2024 – 3 minutes read

Aryna Sabalenka stunned by Donna Vekic

Aryna Sabalenka, the Belarusian professional tennis player, suffered a shocking loss to Croatian star, Donna Vekic. Sabalanka, the second-seeded player in Dubai suffered a shocking collapse and dropped from 7-6 (5) 2-0  making a way for the Croatian coming back to win  6-7 (5) 6-3 6-0.

Australian Open Champion Says She Is “Addicted to Wins”

Shocking loss for Aryna Sabalenka in Dubai

Before winning the Australian Open with 11-1, Sabalanka finished as a runner-up at the Brisbane International and she reached Dubai after making a big name in these competitions. It was the first match played by Sabalenka after the Australian Open, but already the Belarusian was considered a major player who is considered to be equally talented as the top favorites of the Dubai title such as Elena Rybakina, Iga Swiatek, and Coco Gauff. 

As far as Dubai Championship 2024 is concerned, the second seed found herself down by an early break before which Sabalenka maintained the lead by scoring 5-3. But eventually, she started struggling as the match continued and failed to keep up with Vekic in the ninth game before also missing several more points in the 12th game. 

Although she stumbled at some points to win the first set, she made sure to win five consecutive points to open a 5-2 lead before taking one more point to win the opener. After marking a win in the first set, Sabalenka also kicked off the second set with an early break scoring 2-0. However, the second set proved the major comeback of the Croatian where she defeated Sabalenka in 12 of the next 13 games. That was a clear and incredible win marked by Vekic, who now owns a 6-2 head-to-head against Sabalenka.

After the match, Vekic admitted that she did not expect that she would defeat the 2024 Australian Open champion. 

“I didn’t have any big expectations coming to Dubai. I even told my coach that I’m considering it as a half vacation,’ she remarked after defeating Sabalenka. Reportedly, the Croatian tennis player spent more time on the beach than on the court. 

On Feb. 19, the world #2 Sabalenka made headlines for her winning addiction while also expressing her hunger for acquiring further victories after successfully owing the title of the Australian Open last month. 

Sabalenka, who was defeated by Vekic, is seemingly still in shock. However, in a recent statement, she opened up about how her Melbourne win still felt like a “dream.” 

“My mindset is to keep fighting, keep doing what I’m doing, keep working. It’s crazy to look back and think, ‘Whao, I would have achieved that,’” she told the Dubai reporters. 

“Am not the type of person who stops after winning something,” she said, adding “I’m addicted to wins. I feel like it is something in my blood. So, I keep working, I keep doing, and hopefully, I keep winning.

Throughout her career, Sabalenka has managed to reach the semi-finals in at least 6 majors consecutively, and it describes her consistency at the highest level. During the past few years, the 25-year-old has gone through major mental transformations on the court as she was put into situations where she had to rise emotionally during matches. 

Read More: Aryna Sabalenca Exacts Revenge Against Coco Gauf by Winning Back-to-back Australian Open Finals

“I guess I have always been in a search for something that would help me control myself better,” she said in a statement last year.

 “After years of consultation with a psychologist, I have decided to take full responsibility for myself as I have realized that I should not wait for someone to come and fix me,” she said earlier this year. 

  1. Instagram Account Of (n.d) Aryna Sabalenka [Online] Available At:
  2. Official Website of (n.d) Australian Open [Online] Available At:

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Ayisha Nashva is a dedicated and passionate writer known for her ability to craft entertaining and engaging content. With a love for storytelling, Ayisha weaves narratives that captivate her audience and her creativity and commitment are remarkable when it comes to providing enjoyable and memorable literary experiences.

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