2021 Wimbledon: Aryna Sabalenka reaches her first Grand Slam quarter-final
World number four Aryna Sabalenka defeated Elena Rybakina to reach her maiden quarter-final at a Grand Slam. She edged Kazakhstan's Rybakina, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, in the last 16 clash of 2021 Wimbledon. Sabalenka showed terrific resistance despite losing the second set. The Belarusian earlier beat Maria Camila Osorio Serrano to win the third round. Here are further details.
Although Sabalenka won the first game, Rybakina breezed past her in the third game. The former then won three back-to-back games, closing the opening set after 35 minutes. Meanwhile, the second set turned out to be a roller-coaster with Rybakina claiming a 3-1 lead. She sailed through even though Sabalenka restored parity initially. In the deciding set, Sabalenka emerged as the more consistent player.
Sabalenka has advanced to her maiden quarter-final of a major. Earlier this year, she reached the fourth round of the Australian Open. Thereafter, she won the Madrid Open by defeating world number Ashleigh Barty in the final. Sabalenka then suffered a third-round defeat to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at the Roland Garros. Before the ongoing tournament, she had reached the quarter-finals in Eastbourne (grass-court).
Sabalenka registered 94 points and 10 aces in the match. She registered 33 winners in the match, 10 more than that of Rybakina. She also claimed 46% of the receiving points. While Sabalenka recorded 31 unforced errors, Rybakina recorded 30.
Sabalenka will lock horns with Ons Jabeur in the quarter-final. The latter knocked out the 2020 Roland Garros champion, Iga Swiatek even after losing the first set. Swiatek had the upper hand in the match as she took the first set 7-5. However, Jabeur, who recently upset the 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, won the next two sets 6-1, 6-1.