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Aryna Sabalenka breezes past Zheng Qinwen to reach US Open semifinals By Ben Morse, CNN

Aryna Sabalenka performed admirably against Zheng Qinwen on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals, demonstrating why she's one of the favorites to win the US Open this year.

The Chinese 20-year-old was easily defeated by the world No. 2 in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, winning 6-1 6-4.

Sabalenka easily glided into the US Open last four, and Zheng was no match for the Belarusian's strong serves and powerful shots.

Sabalenka is the highest seed remaining in the draw after a few high-profile early departures, and she appears to be the one to defeat.

In her chat with reporters on the court, Sabalenka stated, "I believe I definitely played excellent tennis today. 'Extremely pleased with the performance. I will have another chance to perform better in the semifinals.

To advance to the championship, she must defeat either Madison Keys of America or Markéta Vondrouová, the Wimbledon champion.

On her way to win at the US Open, Sabalenka returns a shot to Zheng.
On her way to win at the US Open, Sabalenka returns a shot to Zheng.
Seth Wenig / AP
1 in the world
Due to Iga Witek's early exit from the US Open, Sabalenka will undoubtedly overtake Witek as the world's top player on Monday.

After a fantastic year in which she won three titles, including her first grand slam at the Australian Open, she rose to the top of the world rankings.

In the quarterfinal match against Zheng, she maintained her superior play, completely dominating the other player in a 27-minute opening set.

Zheng had a chance to recuperate during the time between sets, and she then started to gain the upper hand. As the two exchanged service games at the beginning of the second set, the youthful player more than held her own against Sabalenka.

That is, until Sabalenka was able to break Zheng's fortitude in the seventh game of the set and put herself in front with a crucial break of serve.

Despite her best efforts, Zheng was unable to respond, as the Belarusian easily served out the match.

Sabalenka will be playing in her third straight US Open quarterfinal in her quest to win a second grand slam title in 2023.

Sabalenka, who is currently playing in her fifth straight grand slam semifinal, has already won seven of her career's major quarterfinals, placing her second all-time after Chris Evert, who astonishingly won her first 48.


Daniel Jack

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