Aryna Sabalenka felt that starting well was the key to her US Open victory over Karolina Pliskova as she is happy to be back into the semifinals at Flushing Meadows. Sabalenka, the sixth-seeded player in the US Open draw, defeated 22nd-seeded Pliskova 6-1 7-6 (4) to reach semifinals at Flushing Meadows in back-to-back years.
Sabalenka got off to an impressive start, breaking Pliskova three times to easily win the first set. In the second set, no breaks were seen as Pliskova saved the lone break point in the eighth game. Pliskova raised her level in the second set, but Sabalenka came up big in the tie-break as she won three consecutive points to take a 5-2 lead, before realizing her second match point to complete a two-set win.
“I think I start really well, and the first set was really high level for me and put a lot of pressure on her,” Sabalenka said after her victory, per the WTA website. “First set was really great. In the second set, I knew she will kind of trying to come back and she will do better.
I just tried to hold my serve and try to put her under pressure on her serve”.
Sabalenka got her revenge over Pliskova
At last year's Wimbledon, Sabalenka made the semifinal before losing to Pliskova in straight sets.
Sabalenka felt that she was going to win Wimbledon, but then Pliskova ended her dreams. “I was almost about to cry in the match to break through in the first week. Then I was in the semifinal, and then it was a lot of expectations.
I felt like, 'OK, I think this is my time, I’m going to win it.' I would say that I didn’t expect [Pliskova] to play that well. I expect me to win the rest of the matches really easy. And then I had another experience in the [US Open] semifinal.
Again, I lost it," Sabalenka said. Sabalenka, who lost to Leylah Fernandez in last year's US Open semifinal, plays next either Iga Swiatek or Jessica Pegula.