Libema Open: Aryna Sabalenka moves into SF; Belinda Bencic crashes out

Shelby Rogers, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Veronika Kudermetova also reached the semis

by Abbey Johnson
Libema Open: Aryna Sabalenka moves into SF; Belinda Bencic crashes out

Aryna Sabalenka needed two hours and five minutes to win in her quarter-final match at the Libema Open on Friday. The tournament top seed defeated Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5) to reach the penultimate round of the WTA event in S’Hertogenbosch.

Both players won a similar percentage of points off their first serves – Sabalenka won 72.9% of her first-serve points to Van Uytvanck winning 72.6%. However, the points each won off their second serves, eventually helped turn the match around in Sabalenka’s favour.

The world no. 6 won around 54% of her second-serve points to the Belgian’s 35%. Sabalenka saved two of the four break points she faced while converting three of the five break points on Van Uytvanck’s serve. For a place in the final, Sabalenka will play Shelby Rogers next.

The American got past Van Uytvanck’s compatriot, Kirsten Flipkens in their quarter-final match. Rogers came from a set down to win 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours and 13 minutes.

Libema Open: Ekaterina Alexandrova's routing finish

Rogers won 68% of her first-serve points to Flipkens’ 61%.

Of the two, it was, however, Flipkens who was able to get better traction off her second-serve points – 61% to Rogers’ 51%. In terms of break point conversions, Rogers faced six break points and saved four of these while converting four of the 10 break points she had on Flipkens’ serve.

Meanwhile, in the bottom half of the draw, seventh seed Ekaterina Alexandrova wrapped up a 6-0, 6-1 win against Cathy McNally in just 43 minutes. Alexandrova won 83% of her first-serve points to the American’s 35% and 72% of her second-serve points to the latter’s 27%.

She didn’t face a single break point on her serve and converted five of the six break point chances she had on McNally’s serve. Alexandrova will play sixth seed Veronika Kudermetova for a chance to reach the Libema Open final. Kudermetova ousted second seed Belinda Bencic, 6-4, 6-2 in their quarter-final clash in an hour and 27 minutes.

Belinda Bencic Shelby Rogers Ekaterina Alexandrova