Aryna Sabalenka: World No 2 has little trouble in defeating Jelena Ostapenko to reach semi-finals | Tennis News

Aryna Sabalenka had little trouble in defeating Latvian ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-4 to reach the Internazionali BNL d’Italia semi-finals on Wednesday.

Sabalenka has never won the Italian Open but had the majority of the support at Centre Court, where the crowd rose to congratulate the her triumph which took little over an hour to complete.

“With this amazing atmosphere, this amazing support, that’s why I’m super-motivated here,” Sabalenka said.

“This is the dream tournament for me to win because of these emotions I’m getting from you guys and hopefully I give it back to you, I love you Rome.”

After her win, the Belarusian revealed if she had been able to play this match after sustaining a lower back injury in the previous match against Elina Svitolina.

“I was testing my body on the warm-up and I felt, ‘OK, I’m probably going to go on the court and play’,” she told reporters. “And I’m super happy I was able to play without pain today. Hopefully, with every day I will feel better and better.

“I would definitely say that was the best performance of the tournament.”

Ostapenko managed to save two break points in the opening game, but Sabalenka broke at the next two opportunities to lead 4-1, and although the Latvian held her next service game to love, she was unable to halt Sabalenka’s march.

Sabalenka needed only one break of serve, making it 4-3, to take the second set and the victory, with Ostapenko unable to force a single break point over the course of the match.

Australian Open champion Sabalenka now awaits the winner of Wednesday’s other quarter-final between Belarusian 24th seed Victoria Azarenka and American 13th seed Danielle Collins.

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