Photo: indiatoday

Aryna Sabalenka will become the new World No.1 regardless of the results in the remaining matches of the US Open 2023. But the Belarusian now has a chance to celebrate her top ranking in a grander way, by winning the title at Flushing Meadows for the first time. However, she has two hurdles to go past to get her hands on the trophy, her second Grand Slam title after winning the Australian Open earlier this year.

Sabalenka is in stupendous form because of the fact that she is the first woman to reach the semi-finals in five successive Grand Slams, after the legendary Serena Williams back in 2017. The youngster, earlier, fulfilled her late father’s dream of becoming World No.1, but the road is not quite over for her.

Madison Keys, Sabalenka’s opponent in the semis, must be brimming with confidence after knocking current Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova out of the competition. This will be the fifth time Keys will be taking part in Grand Slam semis. Out of them, only once did she manage to win, back in the US Open six years ago.

Keys lost to Sabalenka in their most recent meeting in Wimbledon, where the latter won 6-2, 6-4 in the quarters. Two years ago, Keys did beat Sabalenka in the Betti Open in Berlin after a three-set thriller. While Sabalenka will go into the upcoming semis as favourites, one cannot rule out Keys pulling off a major upset at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Thursday.

Karolina Muchova
Karolina Muchova will be looking to qualify for the US Open 2023 final


Back in 2022, Coco Gauff made her way through to the French Open final, but she ended up losing to Iga Swiatek. Since then, the American teen sensation is yet to play in a Grand Slam final. The upcoming semi-final appearance will also be Gauff’s first at Flushing Meadows. Being the home favourite, pressure will be on Gauff to survive the heat.

Gauff was at her very best against Jelena Ostapenka, who knocked Swiatek out of the tournament. The 19-year-old converted six of her seven break points and never gave Ostapenko any chance to stage a comeback into the match. It remains to be seen if she can show the same dominance against Karolina Muchova.

The 27-year-old Muchova, on the other hand, will be looking to qualify for her second Grand Slam final. Earlier this year, she gave Swiatek an almighty scare in the French Open final, but could not hold her ground until the end. The star from the Czech Republic has pretty much been flawless in the ongoing championship.

She has dropped only one set in her Round of 16 match against Wang Xinyu. She also won two sets 6-0 against Storm Hunter in the first round and Sorana Cirstea in the quarter-final. There is every reason why Muchova can be a big threat to Gauff.

Both the semi-finals are expected to be exciting. In the first place, one can expect Sabalenka and Gauff to come up trumps, but Muchova and Keys are more than good enough to pull of surprises.

Edited By:

sabyasachi chowdhury

Published On:

Sep 7, 2023

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