Aryna Sabalenka reflects on ‘magically’ turning around Madison Keys US Open semi-final
Aryna Sabalenka admits she “doesn’t know” how she was able to “somehow magically” come back to win her US Open semi-final with Madison Keys.
The world No 2 revealed she kept reminding herself of the tough matches she has lost as she tried to stay alive and described it as one of her best comebacks.
Sabalenka trailed 0-6, 3-5 and survived world No 17 Keys serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, before recovering to prevail 0-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(5).
The Australian Open champion will face world No 6 Coco Gauff in the women’s singles final on Saturday after the American defeated Karolina Muchova. It will be a first US Open final for both players.
The 25-year-old will overtake Iga Swiatek to become world No 1 for the first time in her career following the tournament.
Following her semi-final escape act, Sabalenka admitted the level Keys was producing in the contest largely took control out of her hands.
“Yeah, it was crazy. I was all over the place. I was just, like, what can I do? Like, she’s playing unbelievable, just, like, crushing everything,” said the Belarusian in her post-match press conference.
“I’m not able to do anything, like, I had zero control in the match. I was just, like, I was just keep telling myself, I mean, okay, there is going to be this like this? Somebody going to just play their best tennis?
“You just have to keep trying, keep staying there, and keep pushing it. Maybe you’ll be able to turn around this game. Lucky me, somehow magically, I don’t know how I was able to turn around this game.”
Aryna Sabalenka thought she won the match against Madison Keys at 7-3 in the ten point tiebreak 😂 pic.twitter.com/9WH25MBnKB
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) September 8, 2023
Sabalenka, who lost close three-set semi-finals at the French Open and Wimbledon this year, explained she used those experiences to help her this time.
“Obviously I was keep reminding myself that I lost a lot of tough matches. I mean, one day all those matches should just, like, help me somehow,” continued the 25-year-old.
“This kind of, like, thinking help me to stay in the game and give me some hope that I’ll be able to turn around this match that, the match is not over until the last point and that I just have to keep fighting, keep trying to find my rhythm, my game, just find myself. Magically I finally found the game, and I was able to turn around this match and to get this win.”
She also highlighted the victory as one of the finest comebacks of her career.
“I think about comebacks. Last year I had incredible comeback from 1-5 against [Kaia] Kanepi. But all of those comebacks are different. This one definitely was one of the best ones (smiling). I’m really proud that I was able to turn around this match,” added Sabalenka.
Novak Djokovic reaches incredible new ATP Rankings milestone to cement GOAT status
Novak Djokovic takes a symbolic leap ahead of Roger Federer in GOAT battle.
Andy Murray sends emotional message to his father after milestone victory
“I’m very proud of that… not many players that have done that.”
Andy Murray may have accidentally given a big hint when his career will end
Andy Murray’s retirement from tennis may be sooner than many have predicted.
‘Special’ Carlos Alcaraz labelled the French Open favourite by former world No 3
“It is a learning experience and Carlos is able to assume and accept where he can improve.”
Novak Djokovic resolves one of his big worries as he prepares for ATP Tour comeback
Novak Djokovic has resolved one of his biggest dilemmas with his travel plans for his trip to America.
Former world No 6 gives insight into how he is helping Daniil Medvedev in coaching role
“He gave me a list of 16 players he doesn’t like to play against, and I prepared 16 tactics!”
‘Rafael Nadal will without a doubt play next season if he avoids injuries’ – former world No 3
“If he doesn’t have any injuries he will be competitive and if he is competitive, he will continue for another year.”
Jannik Sinner lauded for avoiding Emma Raducanu, Matteo Berrettini ‘fault’ by refusing big invite
“It’s important to have people around you that are advising you to say what is your priority.”
2024 WTA Rankings: Iga Swiatek holds sway as big guns flop, Jasmine Paolini and Anna Kalinskaya cash in
This way for your post-2024 Dubai WTA Rankings.
2024 ATP Rankings: Novak Djokovic extends record, Jannik Sinner putting pressure on Carlos Alcaraz
Battle for world No 2 ranking between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner set to intensify.