Aryna Sabalenka and Ons Jabeur have completed the line-up of semifinalists in Wimbledon Championships 2023. The Belarusian has defeated Madison Keys in straight sets with a score 6-2 6-4, while the Tunisian took the successful revenge on Elena Rybakina for the defeat in final match of last year's edition of the Championships. Jabeur came back from being a set down to secure the spot in semis by winning 6-7(5) 6-4 6-1.
Sabalenka in full control mode
Madison Keys was considered to be a tough opponent for Aryna Sabalenka, as the American approached the quarterfinal's clash with the streak of 9 wins, being undefeated on grass so far this season. Sabalenka could feel some kind of additional pressure after yesterday's elimination of Iga Swiatek, which opened the door for her to become the new world's ranking leader in case of advancing into final. As it panned out, the Belarusian rose to the occasion pretty well, being a dominant force in the match-up against Keys. The world's number two has quickly gained a gap of two breaks and closed the opening set after 40 minutes of play. Keys did not give up and gained the first break of the afternoon for her in 6th game of second set. The American was close to set up herself in a good position to force the decider, as she was leading 40-0 in the following game during own serve, with a good opportunity to extend the lead into 5-2.
The current Australian Open denied this by raising up the level again in an impressive style. Sabalenka won 5 points in a row to break back and started an amazing run of aggresive and effective shots, which Keys had no answer for. The Belarusian has quickly added another break and did not hestitate to serve for the victory after a great performance of play in the decisive moments of second set. Sabalenka has scored 17 winners in compare to just 14 unforced errors and was very effective on serve, winning 75% of 1st serve points throughout whole the match.
Ultimate performance by Jabeur
Ons Jabeur could regret the defeat in the final of last year's Championships after being up a set against Elena Rybakina. Today, the roles have reversed, as it was the Kazakh who took the opening set after winning a tiebreak. It was a quick set with short games and without too many long rallies, where Jabeur got the first serious opportunity after gaining a break in 11th game. Rybakina managed to break back in the following game and force the tiebreak, where she capitalized on her good serving abilities and clinched the set, despite not looking dominant at any point there.
Both the players had one weak serving game in the opening phase of second set, clearing the danger by defending 3 breakpoints each. Jabeur converted the first opportunity in the crucial 10th game, when Rybakina was serving under pressure to stay in the set. The Tunisian won this set and followed the blow later on by dominating the game in every aspect. Jabeur was more aggresive player with finesse shots and brave striking, which helped her to overplay Rybakina, who could not rely on her serve as much as in her best moments of the season so far. The Kazakh was playing with less confidence and did not take up the challenge enough to match the level of Jabeur in decisive set, which got easily won by the last year's Wimbledon runner-up. The domination of Jabeur was referred well in the stats, as she ended up the match with a brilliant amount of 35 winners in compare to just 18 unforced errors and was better in every aspect of play, including the brilliant 76% of points won after 1st serve and 9 out of 11 points won during the action close to the net.
The highest stake of the semis
Thursday's match between the two top players from bottom half of the draw will be a big one not just because of the tassle for the spot in a big final of the Championships. Aryna Sabalenka is one match away from taking the lead in WTA rankings from Iga Swiatek. In case of the victory tomorrow, Sabalenka can become the 29th women's number one in the history, dethroning Swiatek after 66 consecutive weeks of being the undisputed leader of the official WTA rankings. Sabalenka will play for her second appearance in Grand Slam final after this year's Australian Open, while Jabeur aims for the third Grand Slam's final after being a runner up in Wimbledon and US Open in 2022.