Sabalenka, Sakkari, Kostyuk, Kudermetova progress into Abu Dhabi semifinals

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus

Fourth seed Aryna Sabalenka extended her career-best winning streak to 13 matches with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory over Elena Rybakina. Last year, the two players were tied at 29 for second most match wins on tour and this week neither had dropped a set before today’s quarterfinal.

The sixth-seeded Rybakina played well today, but Sabalenka was overall a better player. Rybakina’s twelve aces and -3 winners-to-unforced-errors differential were superior to Sabalenka’s four aces and -7 differential, but Sabalenka converted one more break point than her opponent and had better first-serve numbers.

Maria Sakkari of Greece

Sabalenka’s semifinal opponent will be Maria Sakkari, as the Greek upset top seed Sofia Kenin 2-6 6-2 6-0. From a set down and 2-2, the ninth-seeded Sakkari never lost a game en route to her fifth victory over a Top 5 player.

Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine

Marta Kostyuk made a complete turnaround in her quarterfinal against Sara Sorribes Tormo. After losing the first seven games of the match, the 18-year-old Kostyuk stormed back to win the second set and go a break up in the third. Sorribes Tormo was the first player to hold serve in the third set at 4-3, but Kostyuk then won a series of three games to reach the semis, 0-6 6-1 6-4.

Fashion note: Kostyuk is wearing the Nike Winter Court Dress this week in Abu Dhabi.

Veronika Kudermetova of Russia

The last quarterfinal on Monday was played between second seed Elina Svitolina and Veronika Kudermetova. It went with serve until 5-5 when Svitolina earned a triple break point, her first break points in the match, converted the third one and soon afterwards claimed the opening set, performing better in crucial moments.

Russian world No.46 Kudermetova raced through the second set without facing a break point and in the difficult third set served for victory at 6-5. Svitolina then confidently broke her serve to stay alive, but Kudermetova managed to finish the job in the tiebreak 5-7 6-3 7-6(3) and book first career WTA 500 semifinal.


  1. The Sabalenka-Sakkari match will be a good watch. Both of these players are high energy and wear their emotions on their sleeves. I enjoy seeing either one of them play. Can’t wait!

  2. Jim, you’re right, it’s strange, we haven’t heard anything about the guy yet. It’s been over a year. I wonder how she’s managed to keep it a secret for so long.

    Good for Thiem! She’s very pretty.


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