Aryna Sabalenka is glad to be back in the semifinals at Flushing Meadows and believes that getting off to a good start was the key to her US Open triumph over Karolina Pliskova. The sixth-seeded Sabalenka upset the 22nd-seeded Pliskova 6-1 7-6 (4) to get to the semifinals at Flushing Meadows in consecutive years.
By breaking Pliskova three times in the opening set, Sabalenka had a great start. No breaks occurred in the second set thanks to Pliskova’s saving of the lone break point in the ninth game. Pliskova upped her game in the second set, but Sabalenka came through in the tie-break, winning three straight games to take a 5-2 advantage before saving her second match point to win the match in straight sets.
According to the WTA website, Sabalenka remarked after winning, “I think I start really well, and the first set was incredibly high level for me and put a lot of pressure on her. The opening set was excellent. I anticipated that she would make an effort to improve in the second set.
I only made an effort to maintain my serve while applying pressure to her serve.
Sabalenka defeated Pliskova to avenge herself.
Sabalenka advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals last year before falling to Pliskova in straight sets.
Sabalenka believed she would win Wimbledon, but Pliskova dashed her hopes. “During the game to win in the first week, I was on the verge of crying. There were a lot of expectations once I made it to the semifinals.
I had the impression that this was my chance to prevail. To be honest, I didn’t think [Pliskova] would play that well. I anticipate easily winning the remaining games. In the [US Open] semifinal, I suddenly had a different experience.
Once more, I snapped,” Sabalenka said. Iga Swiatek or Jessica Pegula will be Sabalenka’s next opponent after she was defeated by Leylah Fernandez in the US Open semifinal last year.