Aryna Sabalenka joins Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Justine Henin & Victoria Azarenka on prestigious list with French Open SF run

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka halted former World No. 3 Elina Svitolina’s impressive comeback run in the French Open quarterfinals on Tuesday. Sabalenka secured a 6-4, 6-4 victory, advancing to the semifinals of the clay-court Grand Slam for the first time in her career.

The Belarusian was relentless on Court Philippe Chatrier as she effortlessly sailed through the quarterfinals in straight sets.

Despite tallying 37 unforced errors throughout the match, surpassing Svitolina’s 12 by quite a margin, Aryna Sabalenka’s formidable performance ultimately secured her the well-deserved triumph.

With this victory, she became only the fifth player in this century to claim victory in her first 12 Grand Slam matches of the year. This remarkable achievement puts her on the prestigious list comprising Jennifer Capriati (2001 and 2002), Serena Williams (2002, 2003, and 2015), Justine Henin (2007), and Victoria Azarenka (2013).

“It was a tough match, I am super happy with the win”- Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka in action at the 2023 French Open - Day Ten.
Aryna Sabalenka in action at the 2023 French Open – Day Ten.

During her on-court interview, Aryna Sabalenka acknowledged the challenging nature of her match against Elina Svitolina and expressed her joy in securing the victory.

She then humorously extended her gratitude to the patient audience, understanding that their anticipation was primarily focused on Novak Djokovic.

“It was [a] tough match, I am super happy with the win. The atmosphere was amazing, thank you so much for being here, supporting us. I mean, we all know that you [are] waiting for Novak [Djokovic] but still I’ll take it like it’s for me. Thank you,”she said.

Praising her opponent, the Belarusian said:

“She’s such a tough opponent, moving well and now what she’s doing after giving birth is it’s impressive and big respect to her.”

The World No. 2 emphasized her comfort on clay courts and conveyed her desire to go far in the 2023 French Open.

“I mean, honestly, when I was a kid, I practiced a lot on the clay more than on the hardcourt. I don’t know why everyone thought that I’m a hardcourt specialist and I feel very comfortable in the clay,”Sabalenka said.

“Hopefully I can go as far as I can here on Roland Garros. I really enjoy playing in front of you guys and I just want to stay here as long as I can and bring my best tennis, make sure you guys enjoy watching us,”she added.

Aryna Sabalenka will next lock horns with Karolina Muchova in the semifinals on Thursday (June 8).

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