Aryna Sabalenka Stuttgart 2021

Sabalenka edges Belarusian battle to reach Montreal semi-final


Aryna Sabalenka won a battle of Belarus to deny compatriot Victoria Azarenka a return to the top 10 with a 6-2 6-4 victory in Montreal.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Azarenka was last ranked in the top 10 five years ago. The 32-year-old has reached the US Open final three times, including last year, losing all three.

The quarter-final success for Sabalenka took just over an hour, with the Belarusian hitting seven aces to take her season total to 265.

“I’m really happy with this, it was a tough match,” Sabalenka said.

“The second set was a little tricky. I’m really happy that I came back (after trailing 4-2) and won it. I’m pleased with my level today.”

Sabalenka has won three out of four meetings against Azarenka, including their most recent meeting in 2020.

“There were a few points that really made a big difference.” Azarenka said.

“I had opportunities in the first set. But she was playing much stronger in the important moments. I didn’t really quite take my chances. Compared to other players, she’s probably one of the hardest hitting.”

Sabalenka will take on fourth seed Karolina Pliskova in the last four.

Aryna Sabalenka Stuttgart 2021
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