Sabalenka digs deep to reach Wimbledon 3rd round
Second seed Aryna Sabalenka recovered from a set down to beat France's Varvara Gracheva 2-6, 7-5, 6-2 and reach the last 32 at Wimbledon on Friday.
Russia-born Gracheva, who recently became a French citizen, broke the Belarusian three times in the first set to take control on No. 1 Court.
The second set was a much tighter affair, with serve dominating until Sabalenka pounced in the 11th game, creating three break points and capitalising on the second.
She served out for the set, levelling the match when Gracheva went long with a forehand.
Australian Open champion Sabalenka broke early in the decider to take a 2-1 lead and underlined the momentum shift by repeating the feat to stretch her lead to 5-2.
The 25-year-old sealed victory with an ace to set up a third-round clash against Russia's Anna Blinkova.
Sabalenka reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2021, but was banned last year along with all Belarusian and Russian players due to the invasion of Ukraine