Aryna Sabalenka defeats Madison Keys in straight sets to reach Wimbledon semifinals

Aryna Sabalenka reached her fourth consecutive grand slam semifinal on Wednesday after brushing aside American Madison Keys in straight sets at Wimbledon.

Sabalenka, who will regain the world No. 1 spot if she reaches the Wimbledon final, was far too good for her opponent, winning 6-2 6-4 in just an hour and 27 minutes.

The Belarusian’s huge serve and powerful ground strokes are proving highly effective on the zippy grass courts in SW19 and the 25-year-old Sabalenka has looked largely unbeatable so far, dropping just one set en route to the semifinals.

Sabalenka has enjoyed remarkable consistency this season, winning three titles already in 2023 – including her maiden grand slam at the Australian Open – and has reached the quarterfinals of all but two of the tournaments she has played in.

According to Opta, Sabalenka is the first player to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in the same year since Serena Williams in 2016.

“It really feels amazing to be back in the semifinals. I can’t wait to play in my second semifinal at Wimbledon and hopefully I can do better than last time,” Sabalenka said in her on-court interview, referring to her 2021 semifinal defeat by Karolína Plíšková.

“It was a really tough match, she is a really great player. I’m super happy I was able to win that second set. That game at 2-4 and love-40. It was just incredible.

“Thank you so much for the atmosphere, even though you supported her more,” Sabalenka laughed. “I still enjoyed playing in front of you guys.”

Sabalenka was unable to play in last year’s Wimbledon due to the blanket ban imposed on Russian and Belarusian players following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but she has returned this year in some style.

Sabalenka will next play Ons Jabeur after the Tunisian got the better of defending champion Elena Rybakina in a rematch of last year’s Wimbledon final, winning 6-7 6-4 6-1.

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