Sabalenka Stays Alive At WTA Finals, Badosa Into SF; SF On Line Today
by Staff | November 14th, 2021, 10:23 am
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Aryna Sabalenka kept her WTA Finals hopes alive Saturday with a thrilling 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over 2020 French champion Iga Swiatek.

In a virtual elimination match between two players making their WTA Finals debut, Swiatek rolled the Belarussian early in this Chichen Itza group battle.

This time, Sabalenka stormed back to take the second taking the last five games, then went up a break 2-1 in the third before getting the final break she needed at 5-all.

“After the first set I was just keep saying to myself, ‘You have to get through this challenge, you have to get through this challenge,’ over and over again and again,” Sabalenka said. “I was just like saying, You have to fight, you can’t give up like you did in the first match.

“Of course, with the crowd, I felt amazing. I just enjoy every second on the court. I mean, I have never felt this support before.”

Swiatek was eliminated after the loss. After a breakout 2020, Swiatek only reached one WTA semifinal in her last nine events with no Top 10 wins since the clay.

“I don’t want to make excuses or something. It’s pretty hard to talk about that because I know in sports it’s not that often. But like PMS really hit me that day. I’m telling this for any young girl who doesn’t know what’s going on. Don’t worry, it’s normal,” Swiatek said.

“I think I played really good, but for sure I didn’t have a lot of rhythm because also Aryna is that kind of player that doesn’t let you get that rhythm. I hit a lot of frames, I’m aware of that.”

Sabalenka will meet Maria Sakkari for a spot in the semifinals.

Badosa improved her win streak to eight with a 7-6(4), 6-4 over Sakkari to clich a spot in the semifinals. In this first meeting, the Spaniard cruised early with a 4-0 lead and again grabbed an early break in the second.

“I think it was quite a tough match,” Badosa told the press, after the match. “I served well, I fight for every point. I knew it was going to be a battle against Maria.

“I think I stayed aggressive. I was moving well. When you win these kind of matches, I think you have to do a little bit of everything well. I think the key was a little bit in the important moments, I was quite brave and I played very good.”

Today, Anett Kontaveit has already secured her semifinal berth in the Teotihuacan group, but she’ll face Garbine Muguruza who is still alive.

Countrywoman Karolina Pliskova and Barbora Krejcikova will also battle eyeing a semifinal spot.

If Kontaveit wins, she wins the group and if Krejcikova loses, she’s out. Otherwise, anything is possible.

[2] Barbora KREJCIKOVA (CZE) vs [3] Karolina PLISKOVA (CZE)
[2] Shuko AOYAMA (JPN) / Ena SHIBAHARA (JPN) vs [5] Samantha STOSUR (AUS) / ZHANG Shuai (CHN)

Not before 7.30 p.m.
[6] Garbiñe MUGURUZA (ESP) vs [8] Anett KONTAVEIT (EST)
[4] Nicole MELICHAR-MARTINEZ (USA) / Demi SCHUURS (NED) vs [7] Darija JURAK (CRO) / Andreja KLEPAC (SLO)

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Badosa, Sakkari Pull Mild Upsets At WTA Finals; Pliskova v Kontaveit Today
Sakkari Secures SF Berth At WTA Finals; Kontaveit The Favorite?
Kontaveit Continues Incredible Run, Reaches Last 4 At WTA Finals; Muguruza Wins
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