The Shenzhen Open was the Belarusian's fifth WTA final in the last ten months and her first worldwide trophy.
Number one seed Sabalenka's 6-1 4-2 win takes her into the semi-finals.
Shenzhen - Former world No 1 Maria Sharapova abandoned her quarter-final tie in the Shenzhen Open on Friday after struggling with a thigh injury.
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"To start the season with a title, it gives you more belief in yourself, and hopefully I can do well at the Australian Open", Sabalenka said. I'm so happy that I found a way how to win. The world number 13 had a breakthrough season a year ago when she won titles at Wuhan and New Haven.
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The 20-year-old Aryna Sabalenka is hopeful of mounting a strong Australian Open challenge after taking the title in Shenzhen.
Angelique Kerber got the German team off to a winning start, beating Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-4 before Alexander Zverev matched her by defeating Matthew Ebden 6-4, 6-3 in straight sets.
In the second set, the two players broke each other once and went into tiebreaker where Sabalenka won four of the first five points en route to levelling the match. "It holds a special place in my heart, and I think it's home to most of my finals on tour", Riske said.
"I love Shenzhen and hope to be back many years".