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‘Super Happy’ Sabalenka extends win streak to eight, meets Vekic in first Australian Open quarter-final

Aryna Sabalenka defeated Belinda Bencic 7-5, 6-2 and has yet to drop a set in 2023

Aryna Sabalenka at the 2023 Australian Open Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus celebrates during Round 3 of the 2023 Australian Open Image Credit: Icon SMI / Panoramic
Australian Open •Round of 16 • completed
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Aryna Sabalenka, the No 5 seed, has been to the semi-finals at a Grand Slam on three occasions – twice at the US Open and once at Wimbledon. But the Belarusian had never reached the quarter-finals at either the Australian Open or Roland-Garros.

That is until today. Sabalenka put in an impressive performance to come from an early break down to beat Belinda Bencic, the No 12 seed, 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 28 minutes and reach her first quarter-final at Melbourne Park.

“Super happy to be in the quarter-final” – Sabalenka

In the process, she also extended her winning streak to eight matches, having won the Adelaide I title earlier this month – with all eight of those wins coming in straight sets.

“I’m super happy to be in the quarterfinal. Super happy with the win and the level today on court,” Sabalenka said in her post-match press conference. “She’s unbelievable player. I didn’t start well in the beginning but was able to come back in the match. Super happy with the mindset on court. It’s not like really surprising [sic]. Just my level was there today.”

In the previous rounds this week, the Belarusian beat Czech Tereza Martincova (6-1, 6-4), American Shelby Rogers (6-3, 6-1) and Belgian Elise Mertens, the No 26 seed (6-2, 6-3).

Bencic, who is now being coached by Sabalenka’s former coach Dmitry Tursunov, had been on a seven match winning streak of her own, having won the Adelaide 2 title last week.

Up next for Sabalenka is a showdown against Croatian Donna Vekic, who beat Czech Linda Fruhvirtova in three sets in another fourth-round clash on Monday.

Australian Open (Grand Slam), other fourth round results (Melbourne Park, hard, USD 24,297,942, most recent results first):

  • Karolina Pliskova vs. Shuai Zhang
  • Magda Linette vs. Caroline Garcia
  • Donna Vekic vs. Linda Fruhvirtova
  • Victoria Azarenka (24) beat Lin Zhu: 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
  • Jessica Pegula (3) beat Barbora Krejcikova (20): 7-5, 6-2
  • Jelena Ostapenko (17) beat Coco Gauff (7): 7-5, 6-3
  • Elena Rybakina (22) beat Iga Swiatek (1): 6-4, 6-4
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