If you were picking favorites for this year’s US Open and didn’t include Barty and Sabalenka on that list ,then you must be on the money. The second seeded Sabalenka reached the last 4 at Flushing Meadows with a convincing straight sets win over French Open Champion Krejcikova to make it at least one of the above mentioned two. Barbora’s corner finding wasn’t as up to scratch as is normal. Her net play was on point though. Check out first set 1-0 first point. All about timing and reading your opponent. Saba had the most winners so naturally she won the match. At 2-1(30-0) up on Barbora’s serve, she catches the Czech out advancing to the net(maybe a little overconfident on her net play this time). The one game would be the Czech’s only game on the board in the first set as Aryana started to impose herself on the match. Check out 4-1(30-15) Sabalenka. Barbora chooses the correct shot, the lob to counter Saba’s presence at the net. But what follows from the Belarussian floored me. Rarely does a player play the overhead smash straight down the center of the court with the opponent also at the center. Dicey but it worked , that is all that counts.
First serve percentages for both players was poor by US Open standards, 57% for Aryana and 38% for Barbora. The first set clinching Ace by Saba at 5-1(40-15) was one of 5. To be critical of her serving, she had 7 double faults. We get to see a glimpse of what Krejcikova is capable off if she gets on the forehand and hits the much vaunted corners at 3-1(15-0). At 4-3 , Barbora missed what i thought then was her last chance to break back. I admired the backhand winner by Aryana to win the game at advantage on deuce. If you watch carefully she is unbalanced when she hits the ball but the snap of the wrist did it for her.