BELARUSIANS! Aryna Sabalenka Knocks Down Compatriot Victoria Azarenka at National Bank Open 2021 Quarterfinals

Published 08/13/2021, 1:38 PM EDT
Aug 12, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus reacts after a point against Rebecca Marino of Canada (not pictured) during third round play at Stade IGA. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports


The women’s singles category at the National Bank Open witnessed an all-Belarusian quarterfinal today. World No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka took on former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka to advance to the semifinals of the warmup tournament for the US Open.

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While both players went back and forth, Sabalenka punched her ticket to the semifinals with an emphatic straight-sets victory. The final score read 6-2, 6-4.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Victoria Azarenka: Set 1

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The top seeded Sabalenka served first, and held her serve to go 1-0 up. She immediately broke Azarenka’s serve, before serving once again to take a 3-0 lead. However, Azarenka didn’t back down, pulling off an incredible love service game to make the score 3-1.

Despite that effort, Sabalenka proved too strong for her compatriot. After serving to go 4-1 up, she broke Azarenka’s serve once again to go 5-1 up. Although Azarenka immediately broke back, Sabalenka broke Azarenka’s serve yet again in the eighth game of the set, and clinched the set 6-2.

Sabalenka vs Azarenka: Set 2

Once again, the World No. 3 served first in the set. However, Azarenka surprised Sabalenka by breaking her serve to go 1-0 up. The former World No. 1 immediately followed it up with another love service game to go 2-0 up.

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Aug 12, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reacts after making the winning shot against Maria Sakkari of Greece (not pictured) during third round play at Stade IGA. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Following this, both players held their serves for the next five games of the set. However, the eighth game of the set saw Sabalenka break her fellow Belarusian’s serve to tie the set at 4-4. In the next game, the top seed made no mistakes to take a decisive 5-4 lead.

Although Azarenka served two love service games in the match, that wasn’t the case in the 10th game of the set. Sabalenka broke the World No. 15’s serve one last time to seal the set 6-4.

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With this victory, Sabalenka will face the winner of the semifinal between Karolina Pliskova and Sara Sorribes Tormo.

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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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