Aryna Sabalenka rolled past countrywoman Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-4 to reach the Canadian Open semifinals in Montreal.
“I’m really happy with this, it was a tough match,” Sabalenka said. “[she] played really well. The second set was a little tricky. I’m really happy that I came back in the end of the set and won it actually.”
The top-seeded Sabalenka, who was down a break in the second. smacked 7 aces along with 33 winners to reach her 5th semifinal of 2021. She’ll now face Karolina Pliskova in a rematch of their Wimbledon semifinal won by the Czech.
Pliskova continued her decent form with a dominant 6-4, 6-0 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo to advance to her first hard court semifinal since 2019 Miami.
“I really improved my game, especially end of the first set,” Pliskova said. “Of course, in the second set I think I did a good job, good points there, much better serving than in the first set.”
Sabalenka leads Pliskova 2-1 but Pliskova won the big meeting last month.
“We played in Wimbledon not many weeks ago, so I know what to expect. I know what I have to do to beat her, or at least to be close. So let’s see if I can do that,” Pliskova said.
Coco Gauff’s hopes were dashed by a determined Camila Giorgi. The Italian twice missed chances in the second set to put Gauff away but after a flurry of errors from the teen in the tiebreaker, got the win in a tough 6-4, 7-6(2) victory. The two combined for 51 unforced errors to just 22 winners.
“I think it was a great match,” Giorgi said after reaching her biggest career semifinal. “I think I was very consistent. It was a great level, I think.”
Giorgi, who has already posted three Top 25 wins this week, will now face World No. 30 Jessica Pegula who upset Ons Jabeur 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-0 in a bizarre scoreline. It’s the American’s 4th straight 3-set win this week.
“I knew if I could hold onto my serve, I’d get my chances,” said Pegula. “Obviously she made some errors there at the end. I got the momentum and started playing better. Just kind of ran away with that third.”
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