Sabalenka eases past Ostapenko to reach Italian Open semi-finals

Sabalenka eases past Ostapenko to reach Italian Open semi-finals

Rome: Aryna Sabalenka showed no ill-effects from her previous marathon match as she eased past Jelena Ostapenko to reach the semi-finals of the Italian Open on Wednesday.

The second-seeded Sabalenka needed just 73 minutes to win 6-2, 6-4, setting up match point with an ace and then sealing the result when Ostapenko returned into the net. Sabalenka, who didn’t allow the ninth-seeded Ostapenko a break opportunity, showed no sign of the back problem which required treatment during Monday’s three-setter against Elina Svitolina that ended well after midnight local time.

Sabalenka said she didn’t even practice on Tuesday and focused instead on treatment and recovery. And, that clearly paid off.

“I would definitely say that it was the best performance of the tournament,” Sabalenka said. “I’m super happy that I was able to play without pain today, and hopefully with every day, I will feel better and better, and I will recover as good as I can for the next match.” Sabalenka will next face the winner of the match later Wednesday between Victoria Azarenka and Danielle Collins.

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