Sabalenka advances to last four of US Open, dismisses Pliskova in straight sets

Aryna Sabalenka beat Karolina Pliskova 6-1, 7-6 (4) on Wednesday and will play the winner of the match between Pole Iga Swiatek, the top seed, and American Jessica Pegula, the No 8 seed, in the next round

Aryna Sabalenka, US Open 2022 Aryna Sabalenka, US Open 2022 (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, the No 6 seed, won against Czech Karolina Pliskova, the No 22 seed, 6-1, 7-6 (4) to reach the semi-finals of the US Open for a second consecutive time at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City on Wednesday.

Pliskova had won their only previous meeting in a Grand Slam, in last year’s Wimbledon semi-final.

And Sabalenka admitted she had to work for it.

“Today I expected a great level, long rallies, a tough match, and I tried to stay in the match as long as I could and tried to make her work for it,” she said in her post-match interview.

“She played really well and somehow I was able to handle this level and win this match.”

Pliskova: I was lost out there

For her part, Pliskova was disappointed with her display.

“I was not playing at all the way I was playing the last couple of matches, especially the last one with Azarenka, which I think was nowhere close to that,” she said in her post-match press conference. “Of course, it’s what the player also like, you know, like gives you, and she didn’t give me much. Plus she was playing super-aggressive, serving amazing today. I think I never play her in this kind of shape.

“I guess there are days like this when you know she’s playing amazing, I’m not playing the best, not serving the best at all today. Just somehow couldn’t feel really the court. I was a bit lost out there.

“But still I thought I at least gave myself a chance to fight in the second set. I thought it could actually go, although she was still a bit better, that it could go both ways, because tiebreak is always, like, a bit risky.

“But all credit to her, and I think overall was good tournament for me overall. These tournaments in America I thought I played again like much better tennis than throughout the beginning of the year and the middle part. Hopefully I’m on the right way and I can continue to play like I was playing here.”

Sabalenka, ranked No 6, will face the winner of the match between Pole Iga Swiatek, the top seed, and American Jessica Pegula, the No 8 seed, next.

Ahead of her victory, the Belarusian defeated American qualifier Catherine Harrison (6-1, 6-3), Estonian Kaia Kanepi (2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4) – where she saved two match points – French qualifier Clara Burel (6-0, 6-2) and American Danielle Collins, the No 19 seed (3-6, 6-3, 6-2).

Pliskova, ranked No 22, beat Pole Magda Linette (6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (8)), Marie Bouzkova (6-3, 6-2), Swiss Belinda Bencic, the No 13 seed (5-7, 6-4, 6-3) and Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, the No 26 seed (7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2) earlier in the tournament.

US Open, other last eight results:

  • Caroline Garcia (17) beat Coco Gauff (12): 6-3, 6-4
  • Ons Jabeur (5) beat Ajla Tomljanovic: 6-4, 7-6 (4)

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