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.
— wta (@WTA) August 13, 2021
“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.
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