No. 1 seed Aryna Sabalenka acknowledged her focus against Iga Swiatek was on not doing the same mistakes she did in her WTA Finals opener against Paula Badosa. Sabalenka was 4-2 up after the opening six games against Badosa but then lost 10 consecutive games as the Spaniard won 6-4 6-0.
On Saturday, Sabalenka edger out 2020 French Open champion Swiatek 2-6 6-2 7-5 to keep her semifinal hopes alive. "After the first match I just didn't want to do the same mistake. I just didn't want to give up again," Sabalenka said, per the WTA website.
"I just kept saying to myself, You have to put this ball in somehow. If you don't feel well, doesn't matter, you just have to fight and you just have to try your best."
Sabalenka gave credit to the crowd
Sabalenka was delighted with the crowd support she received against Swiatek.
"Of course, with the crowd, I felt amazing," Sabalenka said. "I just enjoy every second on the court. I mean, I have never felt this support before. I even felt goosebumps." Sabalenka made the US Open semifinal before losing to Canadian Leylah Fernandez.
The crowd was on the side of Fernandez and Sabalenka wasn't thrilled about that after the match. "I remember on that match against Leylah [Fernandez in the US Open semifinals], close to the end of the match I was really not like disappointed, but I was really sad about the atmosphere.
It's not against me, they were just supporting her. I was kind of like asking them to support [me]. After that I felt like maybe sometimes you just have to ask for support, it's nothing bad. "I had a lot of situations when people were supporting my opponent more than me. So, yeah, this time I felt so good when people are supporting you."