Sabalenka defeats Keys to setup semi-final showdown with Jabeur

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Belarus Aryna Sabalenka reacts during her quarter final match against Madison Keys of the US. — Reuters
Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka reacts during her quarter final match against Madison Keys of the US. — Reuters

Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka will face Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in the semi-final of the ongoing Wimbledon 2023 after she triumphed over US tennis star Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday in the quarter-finals.

Sabalenka, 25, didn’t have to face much difficulty in defeating the American as she hit 17 winners and made only 14 unforced errors.

The 25-year-old will face Ons Jabeur in the semi-final of the mega-event.

The Tunisian star produced a fantastic comeback to eliminate the defending Wimbledon champion Elyna Rybankina 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 and made her way to the second consecutive semi-final of the championship.

Keys entered the match with an unblemished 9-0 record this year on grass but it came of no use as the Belarusian tennis star managed to grab a victory easily.

It must be noted that Wimbledon remains the only major where the American hasn’t advanced to the semi-finals.

Sabalenka is just one win away from dethroning the current French Open champion Iga Swiatek as the WTA Tour’s number-one ranked player.

“It really feels amazing to be back in the semifinals. I can’t wait to play in my second semifinal at Wimbledon,” said Sabalenka, who lost to runner-up Karolina Pliskova in 2021. “Hopefully I can do better than I did last time.”The Belarusian has won 17 out of 18 matches this year equalling the legendary Serena Williams’ feat of 2015. She is also the only woman tennis player to reach at least the semi-finals of the past four Grand Slams winning the Australian Open in January this year.

Sabalenka also end up improving her record to 6-0 in Grand Slam quarterfinal matches, and she did so despite much of the applause going toward Keys.

“Thank you so much for the atmosphere, even though you supported her more,” Sabalenka said on the court. “I still enjoyed playing in front of you guys.”

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