“She Put Me Under Pressure”: Aryna Sabalenka Reflects on Her Loss to Karolina Pliskova in Wimbledon SF

Published 07/08/2021, 11:10 PM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 8, 2021 Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka reacts during her semi final match against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova REUTERS/Toby Melville

Belarussian tennis star Aryna Sabalenka opened up on her Wimbledon semi-final defeat to Czech rival Karolina Pliskova, saying that her opponent was the better player on the day with her superior game plan and shot-making.


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Speaking to reporters after going down to Pliskova in three sets at a packed Centre Court, Sabalenka said her opponent was hitting flat and low, catching on the back foot.

The Belarussian added that Pliskova also produced effective cross-court shots to push her on the defensive.


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Aryna Sabalenka says Karolina Pliskova played better cross-court shots

Currently ranked No.4 in singles, Sabalenka said, “She was playing really flat and low and good cross courts. She put me under pressure.”

The Belarussian added that Pliskova held a clear edge over her with her superior shot-making, especially the cross-court ones.

She said she tried to play through the middle to stop her from playing the cross-court shots but the ploy didn’t work.

“On the cross-courts, she was just better than I was. I was trying to play more through the middle to take these shots from her,” Sabalenka added.

She said she did not find it easy even when she engaged in long rallies with the Czech and eventually came out second-best.

“It was not easy even in the rallies against her,” the Belarussian added.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 8, 2021 Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova in action during her semi final match against Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka REUTERS/Paul Childs

Sabalenka had routed Ons Jabeur to reach Wimbledon QF

Coming into the last four encounters with a typically brutal takedown of Tunisian Ons Jabeur, who upset 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek in the quarterfinals, Sabalenka looked to impose herself on the Czech early in the proceedings.

Her intensity brought her the desired result as she bagged a break of serve to take the opening set 7-5. However, just when she looked poised to sprint her way to the last four, Pliskova came out counter-punching.

With her aggressive forays into the net and superior shot-making, the Czech star left searching for answers.

The counter-attacking strategy proved effective as the momentum shifted with Pliskova winning the second set 6-4.


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Watch This Link: Wimbledon Championship 2021 Day 1: Best Shots By Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Frances Tiafoe and Aryna Sabalenka

With a spring in her step in the decider, the Czech was literally unstoppable as she raced to a 6-3 win in the decider to seal her passage to the final.


Aryna Sabalenka and Karolina Pliskova Create an Astounding Record at Wimbledon Championships 2021 That Even Venus and Serena Williams Couldn’t

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Pliskova will play World No.1 Ashleigh Barty for the championship on Friday.


Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.