Aryna Sabalenka, the second seed, put on a domi-nant display at the US Open, crushing 23rd seed Zheng Qinwen with a 6-1, 6-4 victory.
Sabalenka, soon to be the world’s top-ranked player, asserted her dominance with 17 winners and never allowing Zheng a breakpoint opportunity.
Zheng, who had never reached a major quarter-final before, had a challenging encounter against the Australian Open champion. She struggled to generate power on her serve, committing 23 errors under Sabalenka’s relentless pressure.
Sabalenka’s path to the semi-finals now awaits the winner of the match between American Madison Keys and Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova.
After her victory, Sabalenka expressed her joy, saying, “I’m super happy with the win against her… super happy with the performance,” and she vowed to do everything in her power to reach the tournament’s end.
Sabalenka’s flawless run at Flushing Meadows continued, as she didn’t drop a set this year. In the first set, she won the first five games, losing just one first-serve point, showcasing her dominance.
Zheng showed improvement in the second set, forcing Sabalenka into extended rallies. However, Sabalenka’s relentless play paid off as Zheng committed crucial errors, helping Sabalenka secure the break in the seventh game, ultimately sealing her victory with a backhand into the net from Zheng on match point.
Reflecting on the match, Sabalenka commented, “It was a little tricky, and I’m super happy that even though she was serving really well, I was able to break her serve for once, and it was enough for that set.”
Zheng, on the other hand, acknowledged the challenges of facing Sabalenka, saying, “Sabalenka, she’s a tough opponent to beat, and the loss today made me think a lot.”
Sabalenka’s quest for a second Grand Slam title of the season continues, as she aims to conquer the US Open after two previous semi-final exits at the tournament.
Madison Keys of the United States stunned Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova to reach the semi-finals of the US Open on Wednes-day.
Keys, a US Open finalist in 2017, produced a disciplined performance to clinch a 6-1, 6-4 vic-tory in 1hr 26min on the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The American 17th seed will play second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus on Thursday for a place in the final.
Czech ninth seed Vondrousova, who made history in July after becoming the first unseeded woman to win Wimbledon, was left ruing an inability to convert any of nine break points against Keys.
Keys by contrast seized every opportunity that came her way, converting all three break points she earned to advance to the last four of a Grand Slam for the sixth time.
Keys said the home support had helped her survive Vondrousova’s nine break points. “I love playing here, in front of a home crowd — you never feel like you can’t get out of any situation,” Keys said.
The American said she had decided before-hand to go on the front foot against Vondrousova.
“Just being able to stay aggressive and staying on the front foot the whole time,” Keys said, who was beaten by semi-final opponent Sabalenka in straight sets when the two met in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in July.—AFP