Until this year’s Australian Open, Mertens and Sabalenka formed a successful doubles tandem, but the Belarusian wanted to focus entirely on singles and success. It climbed to second place in the world rankings.
In the first group, the two friends kept each other in equilibrium. Sabalenka struggled for her second serve, but Mertens could only force her to break once to overcome an early deficit.
Sabalenka played hard and put a lot of risk into her game and it came 5-4 in the first set. Mertens forced a foul and broke her love for winning the first set.
The Belarusian continued her momentum in the second set. With her powerful hits, she came out for the winner on every point. After 1-1, Mertens was no longer under pressure, especially on her second serve.
Mertens found no answer to Sabalenka’s strength and showed no mercy. Our compatriot managed to get away with the first match point in a clever way, but the second result was a hit: 6-4, 6-1.
For the first time since 2018, Mertens did not reach the quarter-finals in New York, but that did not stop her from sincerely congratulating her friend and embracing her on the net. For Sabalenka, this is the first time she has reached the quarter-finals of the US Open.
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