Madrid Open: Aryna Sabalenka reaches final and Aslan Karatsev into semis as the No. 2 in singles is on her way to her fifth WTA 1000 title.
Aryna Sabalenka’s record
Belarus Sabalenka advanced to the Madrid Open final for the second time in three years.
She defeated Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-1 on Thursday on the comfortable semi that saw her winning nine of the last 11 games, including the last five.
The Australian Open champion is the first player to reach five finals in a single season before the Italian Open since Victoria Azarenka in 2012.
“It was actually my best match of the tournament,” Sabalenka said. “I’m super happy with the level that I played, and especially with my mental game.”
Sabalenka has 11 wins from her first 14 matches at the Madrid Open. Only Serena Williams took less matches to secure 11 wins at the event, with 13.
Sabalenka’s opponent is to be revealed, who will be either top-ranked Iga Swiatek or 12th-seeded Veronika Kudermetova
Aslan Karatsev into semi
Aslan Karatsev, who has been ranked 14th, secured a place in top four, having cruised past Chinese Zhang Zhizhen 7-6 (3), 6-4.
This is the Russian player’s first Masters 1000 semifinal, with his opponent will fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas or Jan-Lennard Struff.
In 2021, he became the first man in his Grand Slam debut to reach the Australian Open semifinals.
In Madrid, he’s only the second qualifier to make the semis.
“I started the year inside the top 100 then I dropped and lost some matches,” he said. “You have to keep going and believe, and I have a team behind me that is always supporting me and believing in me.”