Sabalenka strolls to Italian Open semis with win over Ostapenko

ROME   -   World No 2 Aryna Sabalenka had little trouble in defeating Latvian ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-4 to reach the Italian Open semifinals. Sabalenka has never won the Italian Open but she had the majority of the support at Centre Court, where the crowd rose to congratulate the Belarusian’s triumph which took little over an hour to complete. “With this amazing atmosphere, this amazing support, that’s why I’m super-motivated here,” Sabalenka said. “This is the dream tournament for me to win because of these emotions I’m getting from you guys and hopefully I give it back to you, I love you Rome.” Ostapenko managed to save two break points in the opening game, but Sabalenka broke at the next two opportunities to lead 4-1, and although the Latvian held her next service game to love, she was unable to halt Sabalenka’s march. Sabalenka needed only one break of serve, making it 4-3, to take the second set and the victory, with Ostapenko unable to force a single break point over the course of the match. Australian Open champion Sabalenka awaits the winner of Wednesday’s other quarter-final between Belarusian 24th seed Victoria Azarenka and American 13th seed Danielle Collins.

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