Aryna Sabalenka gives injury update while ‘fresh’ Bianca Andreescu enjoys ‘sweet’ victories

Shahida Jacobs
Aryna Sabalenka during a match

Aryna Sabalenka produced a powerful display at the Miami Open to set up yet another clash against Barbora Krejcikova and she is confident that her leg injury won’t be problematic.

The confidence is flowing for Sabalanka as she produced “really great things” to secure a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Marie Bouzkova in the third round of the WTA 1000 event.

“There were really great things from me,” the Australian Open champion said. “I felt like everything I was doing was right and I am super happy with the level.”

Up next is Krejcikova in what will be their third meeting in the space of a month with the Czech winning their quarter-final encounter in Dubai before the world No 2 notched up a win at Indian Wells last week.

Sabalenka leads their head-to-head 4-1, but she knows she can expect a tough battle against the 2021 French Open champion.

“I think if you give her some time she can put the ball wherever she wants to,” she said. “It’s tough. So you have to put a lot of pressure on her. You have to be really aggressive on court and not give her too much time and make her really work for it. She’s a great player and it’s always tough battles against her.”

The 24-year-old struggled with a groin injury during her win against Shelby Rogers and needed medical treatment and, although still not 100%, she is confident it is improving.

“We are working on that. I would say I have the best team and I really trust them and believe that they can fix it. It definitely felt much better,” Sabalenka said.

The second seed added: “I have a few exercises that I have to do during the match to control this muscle, but my team did everything so that I don’t focus on my leg and I focus on my game.”

Meanwhile, Bianca Andreescu also continued her good run in Miami as she took out former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin with a 6-4, 6-4 win. Both players have struggled with injury and form in recent years, but the Canadian appears to have turned a corner.

“I definitely enjoy the challenge,” Andreescu – who defeated Emma Raducanu and seventh seed Maria Sakkari in the first two matches – said. “These victories are definitely very sweet and I’ve had many tough matches against Sofia, so it feels really good to get through.”

She added: “I definitely feel like I am getting better match by match, even physically. Like I’m feeling really good. I’m feeling very fresh.”

2019 US Open champion Andreescu will face Ekaterina Alexandrova in the fourth round after the 18th seed upset ninth seed Belinda Bencic 7-6 (10-8), 6-3.

Bencic, though, was not the highest seed to fall as sixth seed Coco Gauff was beaten by Anastasia Potapova with the Russian winning 6-7 (8-10), 7-5, 6-2.

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