Sabalenka storms into US Open semi-finals with convincing win over Zheng

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Aryna Sabalenka is marching closer to her second Grand Slam title of the year as she powered past China’s Zheng Qinwen in straight sets to secure a spot in the US Open semi-finals. 

The Australian Open champion, soon to be the world number one, clinched victory with a commanding 6-1, 6-4 performance in just over an hour. 

The Belarusian second seed’s blistering display on the court ensures her a place in the semi-finals, where she will face either Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic or Madison Keys of the United States.

Sabalenka attributed her success to her dominant serve, which proved too much for Zheng to handle. The Belarusian player’s rise to the top of the women’s rankings was sealed when Iga Swiatek, the current world number one, exited the US Open earlier in the tournament. Despite the milestone, Sabalenka remains focused on her New York campaign, with her eyes set on becoming world number one after the tournament.

Having reached the semi-finals in her last five Grand Slam appearances, Sabalenka’s experience in tough matches shone through. She stated, “We’re not losing; we’re learning,” emphasizing the importance of her previous losses in strengthening her game for future challenges.

Zheng, a rising star from China, had previously caused an upset by reaching her first Grand Slam quarter-final. However, facing Sabalenka’s formidable serve proved to be a formidable challenge, with the 20-year-old 23rd seed unable to create a single break point opportunity throughout the match.

Sabalenka’s dominant performance was exemplified by her serve statistics, winning 23 of 26 points on her first serve and 13 of 19 on her second. Zheng acknowledged Sabalenka’s powerful serve, stating, “If you want to beat her, first you have to know how to handle her service game.”

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