ORDER OF PLAY

CENTRE COURT -- 2:30 pm start
[4] Victoria AZARENKA (BLR) vs. [3] Aryna SABALENKA (BLR)
After suitable rest
[1] Elise MERTENS (BEL) / Aryna SABALENKA (BLR) vs. Gabriela DABROWSKI (CAN) / Luisa STEFANI (BRA)

Head to Head

victoria azarenka
BLR
33.3% Win 1
Matches Played 3
2 66.7% Win
More Head to Head
aryna sabalenka
BLR

MATCH POINTS

An all-Belarusian final will determine the inaugural J&T Banka Ostrava Open champion on Sunday, when No.3 seed Aryna Sabalenka and No.4 seed Victoria Azarenka square off for the title. It will be the first-ever all-Belarusian WTA singles final.

Sabalenka and Azarenka have split their two previous meetings, both of which came at the US Open over the last two seasons. Sabalenka claimed a three-set victory in the first round of the 2019 US Open, but Azarenka avenged that loss with a straight-set victory in the second round of the Grand Slam event earlier this year, en route to the final.

Both World No.12 Sabalenka and World No.14 Azarenka are seeking their second WTA singles title of the season. Sabalenka earned her sixth career title at Doha in February, while Azarenka clinched her 21st career title (and first since 2016) at the Western & Southern Open in August.

Sabalenka, who is 6-4 in her ten prior WTA singles finals, staged two astounding comebacks in her first two matches in Ostrava. She fought back from 5-2 down in the final set against Coco Gauff in the second round, then won 12 straight games from 6-0, 4-0 down to overcome Sara Sorribes Tormo in the quarterfinals. A straight-set semifinal win over Jennifer Brady followed.

Excluding Fed Cup matches, Sabalenka had made only two main-draw appearances at WTA indoor hardcourt events prior to this week: a first-round loss to Varvara Lepchenko at 2018 Québec City, and a semifinal run at 2019 St. Petersburg, where she lost to eventual champion Kiki Bertens.

22-year-old Sabalenka would obtain her fourth Top 20 win of the season and the 25th Top 20 win of her career were she to defeat Azarenka. Overall, Sabalenka is 24-18 against Top 20 opposition throughout her career.

By contrast, former World No.1 Azarenka has played 227 matches against Top 20 players in her lengthy career, winning 125 of those. A victory over Sabalenka would give Azarenka her sixth Top 20 win of 2020.

Azarenka moved into her milestone 40th career WTA singles final on Saturday with a straight-set victory over Maria Sakkari. Azarenka had an 0-2 win-loss record in 2020 before the sporting hiatus, but since the tour's resumption, the two-time Grand Slam champion has gone 18-3, including a trip to her fifth career Grand Slam final at the US Open.

31-year-old Azarenka is the second-oldest player currently ranked inside the Top 20 of the WTA singles rankings. 39-year-old Serena Williams is the oldest player in the Top 20 at World No.10.

This is the first time since 2016 that Azarenka has reached at least three WTA singles finals in one season. That year, she won titles in Brisbane, Indian Wells, and Miami.

Sabalenka will also contest the doubles final on Sunday, as she and her partner Elise Mertens, the top seeds, will meet the unseeded duo of Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani.

Mertens and Sabalenka are into their first doubles final of 2020 after a stunning 2019, in which they won the US Open and swept the Sunshine Swing titles at Indian Wells and Miami. Those three titles are the sum total of Sabalenka's WTA doubles trophies, while Mertens has nine WTA doubles titles to her credit thus far.

Dabrowski and Stefani are regular doubles title contenders, but this is the first event they are playing together as a team. Dabrowski has nine career WTA doubles titles and is seeking her first of this season. Stefani has won two WTA doubles titles previously, including one this year in Lexington alongside her usual partner Hayley Carter.

2020 Ostrava highlights: Azarenka sweeps past Sakkari into final