Wimbledon: Sabalenka beats Keys to reach the semifinals
LONDON, July 12 (IANCE) Aryna Sabalenka knocked out Madison Keys in straight sets to reach the semifinals of Wimbledon, here on Wednesday. Sabalenka is now one win away from overtaking Iga Swiatek as the highest-ranked player.
After defeating No. 25 seed Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals, Sabalenka will need to defeat No. 6 Ons Jabeur, who knocked out defending champion Elena Rybakina in three sets.
When asked what motivates Sabalenka more – the chance of her first Wimbledon title, or the No. 1 ranking? She said, “Honestly. I want both. But I try to focus on myself because I know if I start thinking about all of these things, I’m going to lose focus on the court, and my game.”
She added, “Later we will see if I am ready to be the world number one, or if I am ready to play another final.”
Sabalenka is the only woman to have reached at least the semifinals of the past four Grand Slams. The Australian Open champion has won 17 of her 18 Grand Slam matches this year, equaling Serena Williams’ feat in 2015.
Keys, on the other hand, entered the match with an impeccable 9-0 record this year on grass, winning her second title in Eastbourne. It was the 28-year-old American in the quarterfinals here, but Wimbledon remains the only major not to advance to the semifinals.
Sabalenka is now at 40 match wins for the year, behind only Swiatek. This run has a special meaning to her considering she wasn’t able to play a year ago.
“I was really sad, but at the same time I was thinking, ‘Well, it’s kind of a good time to reset everything and start everything over,'” Sabalenka said.
“I was struggling a lot with my serve, with these feelings, with a lot of things. I just took this time as a good preparation, as a good little switch.
I did really well, and that helped me with the US Open. Then I started believing in myself more, started playing better, and started feeling better on the court. Emotionally, I’m starting to feel better. I think this period gave me a lot of faith in myself.”