Aryna Sabalenka called Anastasia Potapova "a great player" and tipped the 22-year-old Russian to "soon become a top-10 player." In the Stuttgart semifinal, second-seeded Sabalenka dismantled Potapova 6-1 6-2. Potapova, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No 24 in the world, didn't stand much of a chance against Sabalenka.
Still, Sabalenka spoke extremely highly of Potapova after their match. “It was a great match. I think I played really unbelievable tennis today against Anastasia. She’s a great player. I’d never played against her before, but I’m pretty sure she’s going to be a top-10 player very soon.
Super happy with the win," Sabalenka said, per The Tennis Letter.
Aryna Sabalenka on beating Potapova: “It was a great match. I think I played really unbelievable tennis today against Anastasia. She’s a great player.
I’d never played against her before, but I’m pretty sure she’s going to be a top 10 player very soon. Super happy with the win” pic.twitter.com/Xd3Zy60NcD — The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) April 22, 2023
Sabalenka eased past Potapova
Sabalenka made an outstanding start to the match, claiming back-to-back breaks in the second and fourth games for a 4-0 lead.
In the fifth game, Potapova had her first break point of the match but Sabalenka saved it to open a 5-0 lead. After failing to convert her first break point, Potapova got on the board in the sixth game after finally serving out one of her service games.
Serving for the first set in the seventh game - Sabalenka saved two break points - before converting her first set point to clinch the opener. Sabalenka then started the second set just like she started the first set - the Belarusian earned back-to-back breaks for a 4-0 lead.
Up by a set and two breaks, Sabalenka routinely held on to her service for the remainder of the match to complete a two-set win. Even though Potapova didn't manage to upset Sabalenka, the Russian was probably still happy since playing against the Belarusian was one of her big goals.
"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," Potapova said after winning her Stuttgart quarterfinal match.