US Open: Kasatkina played near-flawless tennis to take a set and 5-1 lead, displaying her touch with precise placement on defence
Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus returns a shot against Clara Burel of France during their Women's Singles Third Round match on Day Six of the 2023 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Pic/AFP
The No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka kept alive her hunt for the World No.1 ranking with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Clara Burel to book her place in the 2023 US Open fourth round.
The Australian Open champion will take over the top place if she matches the performance of No.1 seed Iga Swiatek this fortnight, which means Swiatek must now win her fourth-round match against Jelena Ostapenko to keep it. Sabalenka will next face Daria Kasatkina, who advanced past Greet Minnen in straight sets.
Sabalenka blasted 21 winners to Burel's six, displaying her whole range in the process. The majority of her shots were powerful groundstrokes, but Sabalenka also dazzled the fans with drop shots, a wonderfully angled volley in the second set, and a fantastic forehand pass on the run. Her second match point was secured with a crisp backhand return winner.
Sabalenka was also effective on the forecourt, winning eight of the nine points she faced.
Sabalenka will next face No.13 seed Daria Kasatkina, who overcame qualifier Greet Minnen 6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour and 28 minutes to reach the fourth round for the first time in Flushing Meadows since 2017.
Kasatkina played near-flawless tennis to take a set and 5-1 lead, displaying her touch with precise placement on defence.
She had to hold off a late comeback from No.97-ranked Minnen, who saved the first three match points against her and had a point to tie the match at 5-5 before Kasatkina won.
(With ANI inputs)