Aryna Sabalenka US Open 2021

Aryna Sabalenka stunned as home talents have mixed fortune in Moscow


Aryna Sabalenka has been ousted from the Kremlin Cup as Russian stars registered a win and a loss between them on home soil.

The world number two came up against 37th ranked Ekaterina Alexandrova, the Russian claiming a 1-2 win-loss record against Sabalenka.

Despite the disparity in ranking, Alexandrova won in straightforward fashion. She clinched victory 6-3, 6-4 in a little over 70 minutes on court.

This is unusual for Sabalenka. Of her 15 previous losses in 2021, only two had come in straight sets.

The win for Alexandrova takes her into just a second semi-final of 2021, and first since the Gippsland Trophy in Melbourne, Australia back in February.

Earlier in the day, fellow Russian and fourth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova lost to Olympic silver medallist Marketa Vondrousova, also in straight sets.

Pavlyuchenkova won the event back in 2014, and his since lost in two finals in 2015 and 2019. The loss leaves Simona Halep and the only remaining former champion in the draw.

Moreover, the result ended the Russian’s fight for a debut appearance at the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico.

On the other hand, Vondrousova is on the up, into her fifth semi-final of 2021 and third since claiming her silver medal in Tokyo.

Should the Czech win the event, it would be her first WTA title for over four years. In fact, she has just one title at WTA tour level, coming in Biel, Switzerland in April 2017.

Vondrousova next takes on ninth seed Anett Kontaveit, while Alexandrova awaits the victor of Maria Sakkari and Simona Halep.

Aryna Sabalenka US Open 2021
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