Aryna Sabalenka came through to the semi-finals on Tuesday at the US Open with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Barbora Krejcikova in their quarter-final clash. This is the second successive Major semi-final for the world no. 2, who previously reached a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time at 2021 Wimbledon.
The score-line made it look easy but Sabalenka struggled to dominate the first set. She lost her serve once – in the third game – and then went on a four-game winning spree to capture the set. But she also faced – and saved – multiple break points while trying to maintain her lead.
Sabalenka’s streak of games won stopped at six after Krejcikova won her first game of the second set, to put herself on the scoreboard in the third game of the set. The eighth seed never recovered the lapse in the opening moments of the set.
Krejcikova saved a couple of break points in the fifth game, thus thwarting Sabalenka from getting a double-break lead. Two games later, she had two break points to bring the set back to parity but wasn’t able to convert on either.
US Open: Aryna Sabalenka's the highest seed left in the draw
In the 10th game of the set, while serving for the set, Sabalenka didn’t have any missteps and served out the match to love. Krejcikova struggled to get her first serves in, putting in only 38% of her first serves.
Sabalenka, in comparison, put in 57% of her first serves. In terms of first-serve points won, the Czech won 57% while Sabalenka won a substantially higher margin of points – 76%. In terms of break points won and saved, Sabalenka won four of the 10 break points she had on her opponent’s serve while saving five of the six break points, she faced.
The second seed hit 22 winners to Krejcikova’s 14 and had 23 unforced errors to the latter’s 29. For a chance to make it to the US Open final – her maiden Major final – Sabalenka will take on Leylah Fernandez in the semi-final. Photo Credit: Pete Staples/USTA