US Open: Sabalenka ready for semi-final battle after coming through Pliskova test

·1-min read

Aryna Sabalenka credited a greater awareness of what to expect from Karolina Pliskova for her US Open quarter-final victory.

Sabalenka and Pliskova went into Wednesday's match having split their four previous meetings.

Pliskova, though, had the last two, the Czech coming from a set down to beat Sabalenka in last year's Wimbledon semi-finals and also prevailing in the last four in Montreal in 2021.

But Sabalenka turned the tide this time around at Flushing Meadows, a blistering forehand return sealing a 6-1 7-6 (7-4) triumph and a place in a second successive US Open semi-final.

Sabalenka said in her on-court interview: "The last two matches, I don't want to say I didn't respect her and I didn't expect from her a great level, I was thinking ok I'm on the top I have to beat her and today I expect a great level, I expect the long rallies, I expect the tough match and I just tried to stay in this match as long as I can and just tried to make her work for it and should played really well and somehow I was able to handle this level and win this match."

Next up for Sabalenka will be either world number one Iga Swiatek or home hope Jessica Pegula.

And she knows either opponent will present a significant hurdle as Sabalenka seeks to reach a first grand slam final.

"It's a semi-final, it's going to be tough and I'm ready for it, I'm ready for another fight," she added.

"I think I just have to stay focused on myself and do whatever I can, do my best and be ready for a great battle."