Wimbledon: Aryna Sabalenka toys with Keys, moves to semis

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) /

One Wimbledon women’s semifinal match is set as second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka stormed past Madison Keys in straight sets on Wednesday. Sabalenka is now just one victory away from taking the WTA number 1 ranking from Iga Swiatek.

To be ranked number 1, Sabalenka would need to reach the Wimbledon final, but she is clearly playing well enough to do so. Her game translates very well to grass, even though she isn’t really a specialist on the surface. And if Sabalenka wins Wimbledon, it will be her second major title of the year after she won the Australian Open previously.

Sabalenka didn’t need to dominate with her serve to defeat Keys. Keys had more aces – 5 to 2 – but Sabalenka was able to break the American four times. Keys had only one break against Sabalenka in the Belarussians 6-2 6-4 victory.

Wimbledon: Aryna Sabalenka takes one more step towards gaining the WTA number 1 ranking

Sabalenka won the first set easily and attacked Keys’ second serve. But after a short break due to a rain shower, Keys seemed to right herself for a bit and led 4-2 and 40-love. Then Sabalenka took over, winning the next 12 points and the final four games of the match. Her forehand was her greatest weapon and she simply overpowered Keys with it.

Keys finished with three more winners, and did help Sabalenka by having eight more unforced errors, but Keys was always playing from behind and Sabalenka was clearly the better player. Keys played better than the 25th seed in the tournament, but Sabalenka is playing like someone who knows the top ranking is within her grasp.

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Sabalenka will now face an extremely tough test against whoever she plays next which will be either sixth-seeded Ons Jabeur or 2022 Wimbledon champion and three-seed Elena Rybakina. While the other semi will feature Elina Svitolina versus Marketa Vondrousova and both are playing very well, betting money for the title would likely favor whoever wins the Sabalenka semi.