Aryna Sabalenka gives herself a pat on the back after brilliant win – ‘It was an amazing performance from me’

Shahida Jacobs
Aryna Sabalenka during a match
Aryna Sabalenka in a match

The Aryna Sabalenka juggernaut hit top gear at the Miami Open on Monday as she produced another excellent display to dispatch Barbora Krejcikova.

Sabalenka also got the better of Krejcikova at the Indian Wells Open last week, but the Czech is one of only two players to have beaten her this year with the other being Elena Rybakina.

The previous two encounters went the distance with Krejcikova winning in three sets in Dubai and Sabalenka returning the favour in California.

However, Sabalenka produced a clinical display in the fourth round in Florida as she brushed aside the 2021 French Open champion 6-3, 6-2 in just over an hour.

The win took her impressive record for 2023 to 20-2 as she has already picked up two titles – including the Australian Open – while she also finished runner-up to Rybakina in Miami.

The first break point of the match came in game six and Sabalenka made full use of it as she went 4-2 up before saving a break point on her own serve the next game.

The world No 2 then broke in games three and five of the second set before serving it out to love to take her head-to-head record against Krejcikova to 4-1.

“It was an amazing performance from me,” Sabalenka said. “I think I played really great tennis today. I’m super happy with the level, especially against a player like Barbora. They are always tough matches against her.

“I think in the last two matches I won the first set, and every time in the second set I would get crazy on court and talk to myself, lose it a little bit.

“Today, I tried to stay focused no matter what, keep doing my thing, and focus on myself.

“I think because of my serve today there was a lot of pressure on her. The key today was definitely my serve because I could play with more freedom on her serve. I could play closer to the lines and just go for it.”

She will face Sorana Cirstea in the quarter-final after the Romanian beat Marketa Vondrousova 7-6 (7-3), 6-4.

The winner of that clash will face either Petra Kvitova or Ekaterina Alexandrova in the semi-final as the former defeated Varvara Gracheva while Alexandrova advanced as Bianca Andreescu retired after suffering a horrific ankle injury.

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