Sabalenka Sees Gauff As 'A Different Player' Ahead Of US Open Final

Sabalenka Sees Gauff As 'A Different Player' Ahead Of US Open Final

by Alex Waite

Aryna Sabalenka said the Coco Gauff she will face in the US Open final on Saturday will be like a different opponent compared to previous encounters on the WTA Tour.

Sabalenka had to dig deep and respond to a 6-0 drubbing in the first set in her semi-final match against US player Madison Keys. However, the Belarusian eventually progressed to her second career Grand Slam final by taking the next two sets, 7-6, 7-6.

Next up in the final is the improved Gauff, who recently won the Citi Open, and Cincinnati Masters and stormed to the US Open final with a straight sets victory against world number ten Karolina Muchova last time out.

Sabalenka and Gauff already faced off this year at Indian Wells, which the Belarusian won in straight sets, but the new world number one believes her 19-year-old opponent must be considered in a different light due to her recent improvement in form.

"I mean, honestly I would say that she played much better than in that match, when was that, Indian Wells? She improved a lot. So it's a different player. We don't like really thinking about that match."

Also, when looking ahead to the final at Flushing Meadows on Saturday, Sabalenka explained that she is not getting carried away and will not try and focus too much and Gauff and her recent achievements. Instead, the 25-year-old wants to remain focused on her game as she tries to lift just her second career Grand Slam title.

"Going into this final, I think I just have to focus on myself and prepare myself for another fight. No matter what, just keep fighting and keep playing my best and do my best. You know, like, there is nothing much you can, what else can you do? You just have to be there and you have to fight for it."


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