Paris, Jun 6 (IANS): World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka ended the brilliant resurgence of former World No.3 Elina Svitolina in straight games to book her maiden entry into the women's singles semifinals at the French Open on Tuesday.
Australian Open winner Sabalenka, who had never been past the third round in Paris in five prior appearances, defeated Svitolina 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals at the Roland Garros.
For a place in her second Grand Slam final of the year, she'll next face unseeded Karolina Muchova, herself a former Top 20 player, as the Czech beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Tuesday's other quarterfinal.
Facing Svitolina for the third time overall, and for the first time in three years, Sabalenka earned control of the match in the middle of each set. She won three straight games from 4-3 in the opener, after those seven went with serve, and won four in a row from 2-0 down in the second set.
Sabalenka, who completed her Grand Slam box set of last four appearances, now owns a tour-leading 34 match-wins in 2023 and will take on Karolina Muchova in the final four.
To replace Swiatek at the top of the rankings, Sabalenka must out-perform the Pole here in Paris.