Never a dull moment with Aryna Sabalenka on a good day.
But her quarterfinal match Friday in Ostrava against Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain was right up there.
Sabalenka was down 0-6, 0-4 and had break points on her serve to go down 0-5.
And somehow, she crawled all the way back to run the table and win 0-6, 6-4, 6-0.
She’s into the semifinals, where she will play Jennifer Brady. And Sabalenka will also have a doubles semifinal with partner Elise Mertens Saturday; they’re the No. 1 seeds.
“I was already in the locker room”
“Maybe I have to play a set before I go on the court. I don’t even know what to say. It was so crazy. I couldn’t put the ball in, I couldn’t move. I couldn’t put the ball in the court. And I was yelling and screaming and doing crazy things,” Sabalenka said about the first set, in a post-match interview on court.
“And then again. 0-4. Nothing to do. I was already in the locker room. I was thinking when it’s (best) to go home. Then I reminded myself I play doubles here,” she added.
“So many thoughts through that match. I’m really happy I could somehow find the way back. Just crazy – another crazy match. Another big fight. I’m just happy.”
Sabalenka was dealing with a blister on her toe, for which she had a medical timeout at 0-3 in the second set. It had bothered her the previous day, when she came back from two breaks of serve down in the third set to beat American teenager Coco Gauff 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (2).
The Belorussian then had to return to the court later Thursday to play doubles. She and Mertens edged out Jelena Ostapenko and Vera Zvonareva 7-6 (5), 5-7, 10-8.
Four-hour, 20-minute Thursday for Sabalenka
So in all, that was about four hours and 20 minutes on court Thursday. Not surprising she might have gotten off to a slow start Friday night. But still …
Her reaction when she eliminated the possibility of the dreaded double-bagel, holding serve after a long game and saving break points at 0-4 in the second set, was a positive that might have helped in the comeback.
“I need to think about tomorrow. I don’t want to go out there and have the same problems,” Sabalenka said.
After the singles match against Brady, which could be a fun one, Mertens and Sabalenka will take on Kirsten Flipkens and Demi Schuurs in the doubles semifinals.