Sabalenka First Woman Since Serena In 2016 to Reach First Three Major Semi-Finals In a Season

Sabalenka First Woman Since Serena In 2016 to Reach First Three Major Semi-Finals In a Season

by Alex Waite

Aryna Sabalenka's run to the Wimbledon semi-final has matched a seven-year-old record previously held by Serena Williams.

After beating Madison Keys in straight sets in her quarter-final match, Sabalenka became the first WTA player to reach Grand Slam semi-finals at the Australian Open, the Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the same season since 2016. The last female player to achieve this feat was 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.

It will also be Sabalenka's fourth consecutive Grand Slam semi-final after the 25-year-old progressed to the US Open final four in 2022. The Belarusian player said she owes her improvement in consistency, which also yielded a first major title at the Australian Open in January.

"I was really sad that I couldn't play here last year. But at the same time I was thinking that, okay, it's a good time to kind of like reset and start everything over again."

"Before grass season, like, I didn't play my best tennis. I was struggling a lot with my serve, with these emotions, with a lot of stuff. I just took that time as a good preparation, as a good like little switch. Everything start working better."

Overall, Sabalenka feels the work she did whilst missing out on the 2022 Wimbledon has paid off hugely, and it kick-started a run of successive Grand Slam semi-finals at the US Open last year. Now, the 25-year-old is just one win away from taking the WTA number one spot from Iga Swiatek - an attainment that was out of reach this time last year.

"So I think in those, I don't know like how many weeks, probably three or four weeks, I did really good work, and it's help me at the US Open. Then I kind of, like, start believing in myself more, I start playing better, I start feeling better on court, emotionally I start feeling better."

"I think those period gave me so much believe in myself. Yeah, so I'm kind of like I was very sad but at same time I was like, okay, this is probably something I really needed."


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