Aryna Sabalenka demonstrated her status as a top contender for the US Open title by delivering a powerful performance against Zheng Qinwen on Wednesday, securing a spot in the semifinals.
The second-ranked player in the world easily defeated the 20-year-old from China, securing a 6-1 6-4 victory in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Sabalenka’s dominant serve and strong shots proved too much for Zheng, who was unable to keep up. This led to a comfortable victory for the Belarusian, securing her spot in the US Open semifinals.
Following a few notable departures in the beginning, Sabalenka remains the top seeded player in the tournament and appears to be the strongest competitor.
“I am very pleased with my performance today,” Sabalenka stated during her post-match interview. “I am extremely happy and grateful for the chance to improve in the semifinals.”
She will compete against either Markéta Vondroušová, the Wimbledon champion, or Madison Keys from America for a chance to reach the final.
World No .1
Iga Świątek’s departure from the US Open guarantees that Sabalenka will attain the top spot in the world rankings on Monday, marking her first time at No. 1.
Her rise to the top of the world rankings comes after a remarkable year in which she’s won three titles, including her first grand slam at the Australian Open.
In the quarterfinals, she maintained her dominating performance against Zheng, easily winning the first set in only 27 minutes.
The break between sets allowed Zheng to regroup and she began growing into the match. The youngster more than held her own against Sabalenka as the pair exchanged service games at the start of the second set.
Sabalenka was able to break Zheng’s resilience in the seventh game of the set, giving her the advantage with a crucial break of serve.
Despite her efforts, Zheng was unable to retaliate and the Belarusian easily won the match.
Sabalenka is set to participate in her third consecutive US Open semifinal, with the goal of winning her second grand slam title in 2023.
Sabalenka has reached the semifinals of her fifth consecutive grand slam and has won the first seven major quarterfinals of her career. This puts her in second place on the all-time list, with Chris Evert holding the record for winning her first 48.