World number 1 Iga Swiatek and sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka completed the semifinal lineup of the women’s bracket at the US Open with wins in their respective matches.
Up first, Belarus’ Sabalenka downed former world no.1 Karolína Plíšková 6-3, 7-6 to reach her second straight US Open semifinal.
The signs of trouble for Plíšková were there from the start with the 2016 finalist guilty of 15 unforced errors and five double faults before falling down a set after just 28 minutes. Her game improved exponentially in the second as she managed to save the only breakpoint opportunity in the eighth game.
But Sabalenka kept her composure to seal the win in the tiebreak to avenge her losses the in Wimbledon and Montreal semi-finals last year.
She will next take on Iga Swiatek who overcame American Jessica Pegula in straight sets 6-3 7-6(4) to reach the US Open semifinals for the first time in her career.
Pegula was the last American woman capable of challenging for the title this year after the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams lost last week.
The French Open champion was once again plagued by serving trouble throughout the contest and needed to rely on her returning prowess to progress. The 21-year-old twice failed to serve out the match in the second set and was broken six times by the eighth-seeded Pegula, who saw her own serve broken seven times.
But her win guarantees that she will end the tournament as the world’s top-ranked player.
Swiatek and Sabalenka are well familiar with each other which should make for an intiguing US Open semifinal. The Pole holds a 3-1 record over the hard-hitting Belarusian.
The winner would then meet either Caroline Garcia or Ons Jabeur in the final.