Italian Open 2024: Aryna Sabalenka Overcomes Injury Concerns And Jelena Ostapenko To Storm Into Semifinal

Aryna Sabalenka reached the semi-finals of the Italian Open with victory over ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko.
Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka in action at Italian Open 2024

Photo : Internazionali BNL d'Italia
World number two Aryna Sabalenka stormed into the semifinal of the Italian Open 2024 with a dominating win over ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko on Wednesday.
Sabalenka sustained a lower back injury in the previous match against Elina Svitolina. It required a medical timeout after two sets and was a major concern on Tuesday.
The Belarusian said she skipped practice and spent much of the day undergoing treatment – and enjoying some good food.
After a 30-minute hit Wednesday morning, World No. 2 decided to give it a go and eventually needed just one hour and 13 minutes to dispatch Latvian Ostapenko 6-2 6-4.
"I was testing my body on the warmup and I felt, `OK, I’m probably going to go on the court and play. And I’m super happy I was able to play without pain today. Hopefully, with every day I will feel better and better," Sabalenka told reporters.
"I would definitely say that was the best performance of the tournament," she added.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Sabalenka, who finished the match with 12 winners and 11 unforced errors against Ostapenko, will face compatriot Victoria Azarenka or American 13th seed Danielle Collins in the last four.
Sabalenka could face world number one Iga Swiatek in the final, a repeat of the Madrid Open final earlier this month which the Polish won in dramatic fashion.
The 22-year-old Swiatek will take on world number three Coco Gauff in the other semi-final, making it the first time the top three women's players in the world have reached the semi-finals of a WTA event of 250 level or higher since the 2013 French Open.
"With this amazing atmosphere and with this amazing support - that's why I'm super motivated here and that's why I always say that this is the dream tournament for me to win," said Sabalenka.
"I really enjoy playing here so I don't have to think about being focused. I'm just here enjoying it and doing everything I can to win every point I play no matter what the score. I guess that's the key," she added.
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