Aryna Sabalenka identifies the key to beating Daria Kasatkina

James Richardson
Aryna Sabalenka US Open
Aryna Sabalenka will be world No 2 on Monday

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka is set to face a reasonably familiar foe in the last 16 of the US Open.

Sabalenka hopes that her showdown with Daria Kasatkina will be staged on the Arthur Ashe Stadium Court .

The world No 2 is yet to play on the 22,000-seater main stadium during her run to the fourth round.

“I mean, of course I have noticed that. Of course I would like to play on Ashe. It’s [a] different atmosphere. Louis Armstrong giving me so much support and I like playing there, but yeah, I hope that next match will be on Ashe.

“No pressure. I feel good on Louis. Feel good on Ashe. It’s, yeah, whatever.”

Wherever the match goes down, Sabalenka knows how to beat Kasatkina having triumphed four of their six meetings.

She feels that her key to victory against Kasatkina will be composure.

“Yeah, always tricky matches against her,” said Sabalenka about Kasatkina.

“She’s playing great tennis. Moving really well. Trying to get everything she can back on that side.

“I feel like I have to be focused and I don’t have to overrush things against her. I just have to stay calm and just wait for the opportunity and take it.”

Sabalenka breezed past France’s Clara Burel 6-1, 6-1 to book her place in the last 16 and a date with Kasatkina.

The world No 1 ranking remains within her reach but Sabalenka has pledged to take this tournament one match at a time.

It took exactly one hour for Sabalenka to eliminate Burel from the US Open and the Belarusian was pleased with her efforts.

“I’m super happy with the performance today. I think I played really great tennis today. Just super happy with this win,” Sabalenka said.

“I felt good and ready to go. Yeah, I felt pretty comfortable on court today.”

Sabalenka was happy to have improved on her delivery after a wobbly start to the Slam.

“I [am] definitely not happy with the start of the US Open, with those few games on my serve when I served a lot of double faults.

“But I’m happy that I was able to fix it and start serving better.”

Sabalenka and Kasatkina had their most recent meeting in Cincinnati where the world No 2 came out on top in straight sets.

Kasatkina’s last win over Sabalenka came during her run to the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic title in San Jose in August 2022.

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