Sabalenka sees off Rybakina to reach Wimbledon quarters | Inquirer Sports
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Sabalenka sees off Rybakina to reach Wimbledon quarters

/ 08:27 PM July 05, 2021
Aryna Sabalenka

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 5, 2021 Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka celebrates winning her fourth round match against Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

LONDON – Second seed Aryna Sabalenka battled past a determined Elena Rybakina 6-3 4-6 6-3 in the Wimbledon fourth round on Monday to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career.

Rybakina broke Sabalenka in the opening game but the Kazakh, who came into the match having won a tournament-high 96% of her service games in the first three rounds, let her opponent off immediately as she failed to hold.

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Belarusian Sabalenka grew in confidence as the contest on Court Three wore on, sending down two straight aces to go up 4-2 before clinching the first set when world number 20 Rybakina double-faulted.

Sabalenka needed three sets to overcome Rybakina during her title runs at Abu Dhabi this year and Wuhan in 2019 and the Belarusian trailed 3-1 in the second set before battling back to draw level but then lost her momentum.

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Having made it one set apiece with her ninth ace, Rybakina held firm until 3-3 in the deciding set before dropping serve, as Sabalenka raised her level to run away with the match.

Up next for the 23-year-old world number four is Tunisian 21st seed Ons Jabeur who upset former French Open champion Iga Swiatek 5-7 6-1 6-1.

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TAGS: Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina, Wimbledon
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