Ostrava Open: Aryna Sabalenka wins 12 straight games against qualifier Sara Sorribes Tormo in comeback
Aryna Sabalenka lost the first ten games before miraculously recovering to find the court with her groundstrokes and went on to take the next 12 games for a 0-6, 6-4, 6-0 win.
Prague: Aryna Sabalenka staged a spectacular comeback against Spanish qualifier Sara Sorribes Tormo to reach the semi-finals of the Ostrava Open WTA tournament on Friday.
The powerful Belarusian lost the first ten games to a fast, focused Sorribes Tormo and came within a point of losing another.
But she miraculously recovered as she suddenly started to find the court with her groundstrokes and went on to take the next 12 games for a 0-6, 6-4, 6-0 win.
The day before, the world number 12 had already come back from 5-2 down in the third set against American teenager Coco Gauff.
"I just wanted to win at least one game," said a laughing Sabalenka.
"Everything went like I wasn't on the court. I was out of the game and I didn't know why."
"Then I cooled down a bit, took one step back and tried to put a little bit more balls back and go through her backhand."
"After I won three games in a row I knew this was a good sign and if I keep going the same way, I'll find my game. And that's what happened."
In the semi-final, Sabalenka will take on Jennifer Brady, who beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-1.
Sabalenka's compatriot Viktoria Azarenka swept Elise Mertens in straight sets.
The former world number one won 6-4, 6-1 just over a month after trashing Mertens 6-1, 6-0 at the US Open where she reached the final.
The 21st-ranked Belgian broke Azarenka's first serve and went 4-2 up, but the 31-year-old world number 14 quickly quashed her hopes of a revenge.
Azarenka managed two breaks to win the first set 6-4 before sweeping Mertens 6-1 in the second, the result looking more clear-cut than the actual picture of the match.
"She started really, really well and I needed to adjust a bit," said two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka.
"She played some really great points, I didn't feel like I was doing much wrong, she was just hitting a lot of winners."
"In there I tried to apply more pressure, to be aggressive, to take the opportunities when I can. And I served really well today," she added.
In the Ostrava semi-finals, Azarenka will face Maria Sakkari of Greece who beat Ons Jabeur from Tunisia 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
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