World No 24 Anastasia Potapova admits she is extremely excited about finally meeting Aryna Sabalenka. Potapova, 22, and 24-year-old Sabalenka are set to meet in the Stuttgart semifinal - that will be their first meeting. Potapova, who is slowly becoming one of the best Russian tennis players, called Belarusian tennis star Sabalenka "a good friend." "Aryna is my good friend, I think it's gonna be fun.
I've been waiting for this match, I've really wanted to play against you Aryna I don't know of you're watching," Potapova said, per The Tennis Letter.
Anastasia Potapova has a message for Aryna Sabalenka:
"Aryna is my good friend, I think it's gonna be fun.
I've been waiting for this match, I've really wanted to play against you Aryna I don't know if you're watching."
The way she breaks the 4th wall & looks into the camera 😂 pic.twitter.com/bKnDQXHJOF — The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) April 21, 2023
Potapova upset Caroline Garcia to set up a Sabalenka match
On Friday, Potapova recovered from a set down to beat fifth-seeded Garcia 4-6 6-3 6-3 in the Stuttgart quarterfinal.
Early in the match, Potapova saved two break points in the third game. But in the seventh game, Potapova couldn't again save Garcia's break points as the Frenchwomen earned the first break of the match. Up by a break, Garcia held on to her service for the remainder of the first set to seal the opener.
After losing the first set, Potapova saved three consecutive break points in the first game of the second set. Also, Potapova saved two more break points in the fifth game. After saving a total of five break points early in the second set, Potapova collected her first break of the match in the eighth game for a 5-3 lead.
In the ninth game, Potapova served out for the second set. After winning the second set, Potapova also earned the first break of the third set in the fifth game. Up by a break, Potapova held on to her service for the remainder of the decider to complete a three-set win.
“Today I didn’t play my best in the first set or in the second set either. But I’m very happy in 3rd set I found a way. I was just fighting through every point. I found my tennis & started to play better," Potapova said.