Sabalenka Finishes Off Rybakina At WTA Finals, Swiatek Next; Gauff v Pegula SF
After 36 hours of wind and rain, the semifinals are finally set at the much-maligned WTA Finals.
Earlier today, Aryna Sabalenka finished off Elena Rybakina in a rematch of their Australian Open final. Rybakina dropped the first and then lead 5-3 in the second before the rains halted play last night.
They returned today and Sabalenka took it in three 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to clinch a semifinal berth and moved within two sets of the year-end No. 1 ranking.
“Was really tough battle in really tough conditions,” Sabalenka told the tour. “I’m super happy that I was able to get this win no matter what.”
Sabalenka and Rybakina exchanged three straight breaks in the third with the Belarussian getting the better of the trend, and then Sabalenka saved three break points serving for the match.
Sabalenka will face Iga Swiatek in the semifinal tomorrow. Swiatek won her group tonight topping Ons Jabeur 6-1, 6-2 to finished the round-robin 3-0.
Coco Gauff rallied from a set and a break down to defeat Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova 5-7, 6-7(4), 6-3.
Both players served for the set in the second, with the Czech failing to serve out the match at 6-5.
“I felt like I needed to hit through the court,” Gauff told the WTA. “She’s a very tricky player. When you play her pace and let her move you side to side it’s tough. And I played her, it’s my third time, so I know that.
“But obviously, in the wind, it’s tough to be as aggressive as you want, because the bounces are weird and the ball was moving. So I’m glad I made that adjustment and didn’t get too frustrated when I missed. You pay the price for hopefully a good reward.”
Gauff has now won 24 of her last 27 matches, all under coach Brad Gilbert.
She will now face friend and doubles partner Jessica Pegula. Pegula is 3-0 this week and leads Gauff 2-1 and 2-0 on hard courts.
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