No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka cruises into U.S. Open third round

League: Tennis

Posted on: 01 Sep, 2023 at 03:36 AM

Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka took a step toward her second career Grand Slam title with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Jodie Burrage of Great Britain at the U.S. Open in New York on Thursday.

The Belarusian posted the second-round win in 76 minutes behind seven aces and a 93 percent first-serve win percentage. She converted three of four break chances and hit 28 winners and 22 unforced errors, compared to seven and 11, respectively, for Burrage.

In the third round, Sabalenka will face Clara Burel of France, who eliminated No. 25 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-2. Sabalenka will be looking to bookend her season with Grand Slam victories, winning 2023's first major at the Australian Open and seeking the title in New York at the season's final major.

A win at the U.S. Open also would vault Sabalenka to No. 1 in the world rankings, displacing Iga Swiatek of Poland.

"It's just a chance, first of all," Sabalenka said. "It would mean a lot to me. It's one of the goals and one of the dreams. I'll do my best to reach this dream."

Only one seeded player lost her second-round match on Thursday, with Pliskova falling to Burel.

Ninth-seeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, the newly crowned Wimbledon champion, rolled past Italy's Martina Trevisan 6-2, 6-2.

Vondrousova said postmatch that she is learning to deal with the pressures of being a Grand Slam champion.

"It's a tough position," she said. "I feel like everybody wants to beat me. I'm just happy to be here and play good tennis."

Fifth-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, who lost to Vondrousova in the Wimbledon final this summer, was pushed by 18-year-old Czech player Linda Noskova before emerging with a 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-3 win.

No. 13 Daria Kasatkina of Russia pushed past the United States' Sophia Kenin 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, and No. 14 Liudmila Samsonova of Russia defeated German Tamara Korpatsch 6-3, 6-3. No. 22 Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia ousted Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-1, 6-3 and No. 23 Qinwen Zheng of China topped Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.

The United States' Madison Keys, seeded 17th, demolished Germany's Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 6-2, and No. 26 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine rallied past Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. No. 31 Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic blitzed Croatia's Petra Martic 6-1, 6-2.

In late-night action, No. 3 Jessica Pegula of the United States defeated Romania's Patricia Maria Tig 6-3, 6-1.

--Field Level Media