Sabalenka and Gauff move to the semi-final stage: 2023 US Open Women’s Singles Roundup

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Aryna Sabalenka cruised through her quarter-final matchup against Zheng

The 2023 US Open Women’s Singles is fast inching towards its conclusion. With a number of talented youngsters and some familiar faces making it to the final stages, we expect Aryna Sabalenka to crush her competition en route to further comfortable victories.

Dubbed the two toughest weeks of women’s tennis, the tournament had its final 8 contestants take on each other in the much-awaited quarter-final fixtures over the past couple of days. Coco Gauff played out the first game of the quarters, defeating Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets before Sabalenka defeated China’s  Qinwn Zheng in straight sets.

Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova then took on the Romanian Sorana Cirstea in yet another one-sided match that proved to be easy pickings for the former. Finally, 17th seed Madison Keys booked the final spot in the semis after coming up trumps against 9th seed Marketa Vondrousova. 

Here, we look at the roundup of each of the 4 matches that were played out at the quarter-final stage.

Match 1: Aryna Sabalenka vs Qinwen Zheng

Aryna Sabalenka, the No. 2 seed and reigning Australian Open champion, continued her blistering run at the US Open. Facing China’s Qinwen Zheng, who was competing in her first-ever Grand Slam quarter-final, Sabalenka delivered a dominant performance that showcased her credentials for a first US Open title.

In just over an hour inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, Sabalenka secured a 6-1, 6-4 victory. Zheng had previously impressed by defeating world No. 5 Ons Jabeur, but she couldn’t withstand Sabalenka’s relentless power and precision.

The Belarusian, known for her aggressive style of play, has not dropped a single set in the tournament thus far, which is a record in itself. She has shown some incredible tennis en route to the semis and is the majority’s favorite to add her first US Open title to her list of achievements.

Already determined to be world number 1 after the tournament, Sabalenka will now take on Madison Keys in a bid to qualify for the final.

Match 2: Coco Gauff vs Jelena Ostapenko

American sensation Coco Gauff, the number 6 seed for the tournament, also registered an easy victory to book her spot in the semis. Facing Jelena Ostapenko, she started off in a dominant fashion against the Latvian.

Gauff started out with a couple of breaks in the first set that led the foundations of a 6-0 victory and lasted just 21 minutes. Her opponent seemed more determined in the second set, but Gauff’s relentless aggression meant that the game was more a matter of containment than competition. 

Gauff had lost out in the US Open last year at the quarter-final stage and will be confident of going all the way this year. She defeated world number 1 Iga Swiatek in the pre-quarters and will be determined not to squander her chances. Gauff will take on number 10 seed Karolina Muchova in the semi-final.

Match 3: Karolina Muchova vs Sorana Cirstea

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Karolina Muchova registered an easy victory over Sorana Cirstea

The US Open quarters produced four dominant performances that blew away any doubt of the victors making it to the next stage. Muchova followed the trend with another dogfight display that saw her win 6-0, 6-3 in straight sets.

Taking on perhaps the easiest opponent of the stage, number 30 seed Sorana Cirstea, Muchova had enough to contain the hard-serving Romanian right from the start. 

Cirstea had four opportunities to save her second break point in the first set. However, her failure to do so opened the door for an easy victory for Muchova. 

The hard-hitting Czech was in aggressive form right from the start and absolutely dominated proceedings on her serve as well. Her victory eventually came with a strong forehand winner, giving her the opportunity to qualify for her first-ever US Open Final.

Match 4: Madison Keys vs Marketa Vondrousova

Considered to be the favorite for the game beforehand, Vandrosouva was stunned in straight sets by 17th seed Madison Keys. Keys has a bit of a history of defeating heavy hitters in grand slam final stages, a trend she continues against the number 9 seed. 

Vondrousouva looked out of sorts right from the beginning and was broken twice in the first set. She eventually recovered in the second set. However, Keys, known for her powerful serves, set up a date with the talented Sabalenka rather easily.

Keys, now 28, is a regular feature at grand slam knockouts, having previously reached the quarters at 10 different events. She is still looking for her first-ever title and claimed after the game that she will be the second favorite in the semis. Keys’ ability to stay calm under pressure appeared to be of importance.

Marketa Vondrosouva had a total of 9 break point opportunities. However, buoyed by the crowd’s support, the experienced American navigated through each one of them and suffered no breaks throughout the game. 

With that, the matchups for the 2023 US Open Women’s semi-final fixtures were set up. Sabalenka remains the favorite after her successful Australian Open tournament and Keys would have to raise her game enough to make it an interesting watch. The other semi-final can be expected to be a dogfight between Muchova and Gauff.