Aryna Sabalenka said she "destroyed" herself and bemoaned her inability to take opportunities after suffering a shock loss to teenage sensation Leylah Fernandez in the semi-finals of the US Open.

Sabalenka – the second seed – was beaten 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 to 19-year-old unseeded Canadian Fernandez at Flushing Meadows on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Sabalenka, who has won more matches than any player on the WTA Tour this year, has never reached a major final and her wait continues after also falling in the Wimbledon semis in June.

Sabalenka squandered a set point in the opening set, before losing her final service game to love to bow out on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"This is life. If you're not using your opportunities, someone else will use it," Belarusian star Sabalenka said at her post-match news conference. "This is what happened today.

"This is what we call pressure. I had a lot of opportunities and I didn't use it. I will try to improve it. I will keep working and fighting, and I believe that one day it will come."

Sabalenka had dominated early, leading 3-0 inside 10 minutes as she barely missed a first serve, before Fernandez rallied to claim the first set.

"I wouldn't say that she did something. I would say that I destroy myself," Sabalenka said. "On the key moment, I was up 4-2 serving, and I think I made double-faults. My first-serve percentage wasn't really good."

Sabalenka identified a key lesson for her was not to "over-think" opportunities, while she was positive about her conqueror Fernandez, who she said was playing like a "top-10 player".

"Now there is no pressure on her at all. Crowd are here for her," Sabalenka said.

"But the question is when you will start to understand what's going on and where you are, how good can you deal with all these expectations and all this level, all this pressure.

"She's like a top-10 player. We'll see how good she will be in the future."

Fernandez will play 18-year-old Emma Raducanu in Saturday's final, marking the first time two teenagers have met in a grand slam decider since Martina Hingis and Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows in 1999.

Emma Raducanu made history, the British teenager becoming the first qualifier to reach a grand slam final in the Open Era after upstaging Maria Sakkari in the US Open semi-finals.

Raducanu – the lowest-ranked woman to reach a major semi-final since Wimbledon 2018 – stunned 17th seed Sakkari 6-1 6-4 in New York on Thursday.

The 18-year-old will face fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez, 19, in Saturday's decider at Flushing Meadows after powering past the Greek star, with Raducanu the first Brit to contest a championship match at the US Open since 1968 winner Virginia Wade.

It will be the eighth grand slam final between teenagers in the Open Era and first since the US Open in 1999, when Serena Williams beat Martina Hingis.

Raducanu, who impressed in making this year's Wimbledon fourth round, was the first British woman to reach the semi-final stage of the US Open singles since Jo Durie in 1983 but she was not overawed under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights.

After fending off three break points against Sakkari in the opening game, Raducanu – who had only been broken five times entering the contest – broke for a 2-0 lead.

That set the tone for an incredible first set, which was ultimately decided on second serve as Raducanu blew away her experienced opponent.

Raducanu won 73 per cent of her second serves as she saved seven break points to thwart Sakkari, who only won four of her 13 second serves in comparison.

Sakkari – also looking to reach her first major final – tried to will herself on in the second set, however, the 26-year-old simply had no answers.

Raducanu did not face a break point in the second set as the world number 150 continued her fairytale run in the United States.

 

Data Slam: Raducanu dazzles again

Raducanu only made her grand slam main draw debut at Wimbledon this year, but she is through to her first major decider. She is the youngest slam finalist since Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004. Raducanu is also only the fourth British woman in the Open Era to appear in a major final.

 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Raducanu – 16/17
Sakkari – 17/33

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Raducanu – 4/2
Sakkari – 4/5

BREAK POINTS WON

Raducanu – 3/11
Sakkari – 0/7

Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez shocked US Open second seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-4 to reach her first grand slam final on Thursday.

Fernandez continued her giant-slaying run at Flushing Meadows, where the 19-year-old sensation has stunned defending champion Naomi Osaka, 2016 winner Angelique Kerber, fifth seed Elina Svitolina and Sabalenka en route to the decider.

Fellow teenage sensation Emma Raducanu or 17th seed Maria Sakkari await Fernandez in Saturday's final in New York.

The defeat is a bitter blow for Belarusian star Sabalenka, who has never reached a major final, having also lost in the final four at Wimbledon this year.

The semi-final was full of momentum swings, but 52-23 unforced errors and 8-2 double faults ultimately were costly for Sabalenka, who lost the final game on her serve to love to hand Fernandez victory.

Sabalenka had raced to an early 3-0 lead inside 10 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium, dominating with her power, missing only one of her first 13 first serves, before Fernandez settled into the contest.

Trailing 4-2, Fernandez – the youngest woman to beat multiple top-five opponents at the same slam since Serena Williams in 1999 – broke back as Sabalenka's first serve let her down, with the former converting the third of three break points.

Fernandez, who survived a break point to level it up at 4-4, eventually closed out the first set in a tie-break.

Sabalenka made a statement by breaking to love in the opening game of the second set, but Fernandez responded with a break of her own to level it at 2-2.

The second seemed destined for another tie-break, however Sabalenka broke to lead 5-4 and she never looked back as the 23-year-old forced a deciding set.

Fernandez seized control, breaking Sabalenka to move 4-2 ahead, though the latter responded immediately, despite the teenager taking her service game to deuce after trailing 0-40.

However, Fernandez held serve at 5-4 before breaking Sabalenka again to love to claim another memorable victory at the US Open.

Data Slam: Oh, Canada!

Fernandez's victory marks the second time in three years that a Canadian teenager has reached the US Open final, with then-19-year-old Bianca Andreescu beating Serena Williams in 2019. Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime remains alive in the men's semi-finals too.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Fernandez – 26/23
Sabalenka – 45/52

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Fernandez – 6/2
Sabalenka – 10/8

BREAK POINTS WON

Fernandez – 4/7
Sabalenka – 4/11

Novak Djokovic knows he faces a tough challenge in his US Open semi-final with Alexander Zverev after coming from a set down to beat Matteo Berrettini.

The Serbian triumphed 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-3 to thwart Berrettini's revenge mission, having defeated the Italian in this year's Wimbledon final.

The world number one now faces the man who denied him a shot at the Golden Slam, with Zverev dumping Djokovic out of the semi-finals at Tokyo 2020.

And the 20-time grand slam winner was full of praise for his next opponent.

"He's in tremendous form, he's been winning a lot," said Djokovic, who still has the Calendar Grand Slam in his sights. "He has comfortably moved to the semi-finals here.

"I know his game well, we played in Tokyo. He's one of the best players in the world, but the bigger the challenge the more glory in overcoming it."

Reflecting on his victory over Berrettini, Djokovic felt he found his best form after dropping the opening set.

"This was a great match, with a lot of energy on and off the court," he said. 

"Matteo is a terrific player and every time we face each other it's a close battle.

"When I lost the first set, I managed to forget about it and move on. I was locked in at the start of the second and it was the best three sets I've played so far."

Novak Djokovic moved within two wins of an historic calendar Grand Slam at the US Open after completing a merciless comeback against Matteo Berrettini 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-3 en route to the semi-finals.

Berrettini was seeking revenge for his Wimbledon final loss to Djokovic and the Italian sixth seed gave himself a good chance after winning the opening set at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday.

But Berrettini was helplessly outclassed in a devastating display from world number one Djokovic, who is bidding to become just the third man to sweep all four majors in a year and first since 1969.

The 20-time major champion, who can also break the record for most men's slam titles – currently tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, will face Alexander Zverev in the New York semis.

For the third consecutive match, Djokovic done it the hard way, rallying after dropping the opening set, just like he did against Jenson Brooksby and Kei Nishikori.

In a brutal display of big hitting, Berrettini had the crowd roaring – firing down seven aces and saving two break points in a marathon first set lasting one hour, 17 minutes.

Berrettini held serve in a physically demanding sixth game after 12 minutes and seven deuces.

Djokovic – not without his chances – did not look like his usual self, spraying a forehand wide as Berrettini seized control following four set points.

Berrettini was looking to claim his first win over Djokovic after three consecutive defeats and earn his first top-10 victory at a grand slam (0-5 heading into the contest), but the Serb star turned the match on its head into the second set.

Djokovic, though, flipped the switch as he broke for the first time to move 3-1 ahead before consolidating for a 4-1 lead, silencing the pro-Berrettini crowd in New York, where the latter was unable to stop the rot.

Berrettini looked deflated and tired in the third set – Djokovic racing out to a commanding 3-0 advantage.

Djokovic missed the chance to move 5-2 ahead but it only delayed the inevitable as he fended off a break point the very next game to eventually earn a two-sets-to-one lead.

And the 34-year-old could not be stopped as he celebrated his 80th US Open match win in emphatic fashion.

 

Data slam: Can Djokovic be stopped?

Djokovic extended his winning streak at grand slams to 26 matches, while he also remains unbeaten in US Open quarter-finals (12-0). The record-chasing star also owns a 9-0 major record in 2021 after dropping the first set.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Djokovic – 44/28
Berrettini – 42/43

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Djokovic – 12/4
Berrettini – 17/2

BREAK POINTS WON

Djokovic – 5/16
Berrettini – 1/5

Alexander Zverev is riding a wave at the US Open after his confidence-boosting win over world number one Novak Djokovic en route to claiming gold at the Olympic Games.

Zverev survived a first-set scare to power past Lloyd Harris 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-4 in Wednesday's US Open quarter-final.

The German fourth seed will face either Djokovic, who is bidding to become just the third man to complete a calendar Grand Slam and first since 1969, or Matteo Berrettini for a spot in the men's final at Flushing Meadows.

Zverev – last year's US Open runner-up – said he has been fuelled by his semi-final win over Djokovic at the Tokyo Games.

"It's the biggest tournament in the world, Tokyo. It's the Olympics," Zverev said during his post-match news conference.

"Winning there against the world number one, especially that I was down a set and a break, being kind of out of the match, then coming back, it was different than the other matches. The emotions were different.

"Also securing a medal for Germany was very special to me. This year it seems like nobody can beat him in a big match, nobody can beat him at the grand slams.

"I feel like I was the first player to beat him in a very big match this year. That does give you something. To any person it would give you something.

"As I said before also, I think it was very important for me to back it up in the finals, back it up in Cincinnati. Hopefully I can continue this streak."

Zverev is in the midst of a career-best 16-match winning streak and has clinched 37 of 40 sets on the hard courts after winning Olympic gold and his fifth career ATP Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati.

The 24-year-old is bidding to become the second man in history to win Olympic gold medal and the US Open/US Championships title in the same season, after Andy Murray in 2012.

On preparing against Djokovic, Zverev added: "You have to be perfect, otherwise you will not win.

"Most of the time you can't be perfect. That's why most of the time people lose to him. Against him, you have to win the match yourself. You have to be the one that is dominating the points. You have to do it with very little unforced errors.

"He is the best player in the world. He is very difficult to beat. But he's still also got to win tonight. He's playing Matteo Berrettini who is in very good form, finals of Wimbledon. I think he's looking forward to that match, as well. It's going to be an interesting match to watch those two."

Maria Sakkari reached her second grand slam semi-final of the year after upstaging fourth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4 6-4 at the US Open.

Sakkari made history at this year's French Open, where she became the first Greek woman to reach a grand slam singles semi-final.

The 17th seed continued her impressive 2021 with a straight-sets victory over former world number one and 2016 US Open finalist Pliskova in New York on Wednesday.

After one hour, 21 minutes on court, Sakkari will face high-flying English teenager Emma Raducanu for a spot in the Flushing Meadows decider.

Pliskova entered the quarter-final, having rediscovered her best form after a slow start to the season – the Czech star claimed just 15 wins from her first 12 WTA Tour tournaments before winning 19 matches from five events, reaching two finals, since the start of July.

But Sakkari proved too good on Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the 26-year-old utilised her almost flawless serve.

Sakkari lost just two points on serve in the opening set – claiming 92 per cent of her first serves, while hitting 12 winners and clinching the decisive break.

Pliskova owned three top-20 wins this season as she was looking to emulate countrywoman Hana Mandlikova, who won the US Open in 1985.

But the second set followed a similar pattern, Sakkari tallying 10 winners while winning 11 of her 12 first serves, closing out the match at the third time of asking.

 

Data Slam: Sakkari matches career high

With her dominant win over Pliskova, Sakkari – who did not face a break point – tallied her 31st victory of the year. It equalled her best return from 2019, when she finished with a 31-23 win-loss record.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Pliskova – 14/20
Sakkari – 22/12

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Pliskova – 6/3
Sakkari – 4/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Pliskova – 0/0
Sakkari – 2/5

Alexander Zverev won his 16th match in a row with a straight-sets victory over Lloyd Harris on Wednesday to reach the US Open semi-finals.

The fourth seed saved a set point from Harris in a tense opener and built on that to earn a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-4 triumph in a little over two hours.

Zverev has dropped just one set across his five matches at Flushing Meadows this year and will face either Novak Djokovic or Matteo Berrettini as he seeks a place in back-to-back finals.

"I just hope their match goes on for eight hours and 30 minutes," Zverev joked when asked who he would prefer to face in the semi-finals.

"I didn't have a lot of chances on Harris' serve today and somehow managed to win that first set, which loosened me up a little bit and I started playing a lot better.

"In the third set, he started swinging. He started playing incredible tennis. So yeah, I'm happy to be through in three."

Harris beat three top-30 seeds to make it to this stage and more than held his own in the opening set against Zverev, who lost to Dominic Thiem in last year's final.

After sharing a break of serve apiece, Harris led 6-5 in the tie-break but lost the next three points to offer his opponent a platform to build from.

Despite struggling with a minor back problem, Zverev took advantage of his unseeded opponent's five unforced errors by holding throughout the second set.

The four-time grand slam semi-finalist raced into a 4-0 lead in the third set, but Harris slowly regained his composure and claimed the next three games.

Zverev's monster serve came to his rescue, however, as he took the eighth game and eased over the line in style with his 21st ace of the contest.

 

DATA SLAM

Zverev did not have things all his own way as he struggled in the opening set and was sloppy when leading 4-1 in the final set, but he ultimately proved too strong for an opponent ranked 46th in the world.

Last year's beaten finalist Zverev has served 83 aces and just 15 double faults across his first five matches and won 82 per cent of his first-serve points against Harris. Whether it is Djokovic or Berrettini, a tougher test awaits in the semi-finals.


WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Zverev – 43/26
Harris – 34/26

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Zverev – 21/5
Harris – 13/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Zverev – 4/9
Harris – 2/3

Emma Raducanu says she is on her "own journey" after sensationally reaching the semi-finals of the US Open.

Raducanu's 6-3 6-4 win over Belinda Bencic – her first career top-40 opponent – saw her become the first qualifier in the Open Era to advance to the last four at Flushing Meadows, the 18-year-old doing so without dropping a set.

She also became the lowest-ranked player in history (150) to make this stage of the tournament, with Kim Clijsters in 2009 and Billie Jean King in 1979 achieving the same feat having been unranked.

Raducanu, who will face either Karolina Pliskova or Maria Sakkari for a place in the final, said: "I have an absolutely amazing team. I have a team back home who could not be here. I am sure they are watching, I hope!

"Thank you so much everyone. I wish you could be here with me but everything we have been working for has shown here.

"To have so many young players here doing so well shows how strong the next generation is. Everyone is on their trajectory, so I am just here doing what I can control, and it is my own journey."

Raducanu grew into the contest after being immediately broken to love and trailing 2-0, proving particularly robust on her opponent's serve.

Bencic landed 61 per cent of her first serves yet managed only a single ace. The Olympic champion was made to work for the 23 points she won on her first serve and then took just nine of a potential 21 on her second.

Raducanu, who managed six aces of her own, added: "Of course, playing Belinda, she is such a great opponent and is in great form, she hits the ball so hard, I had to adjust and adapt and it was a really tough match.

"I am so happy to come through and thank you so much for all your support today.

"It was 0-30 in my last couple of service games so to hold was pretty big, it was one point at a time and trying to focus on what I can control.

"Belinda was going to fight to the end but I am really pleased to come through that."

Emma Raducanu's stunning run at the US Open went on as she claimed the biggest scalp of her career against Belinda Bencic to reach the semi-finals, making history in the process.

Raducanu is the first qualifier in the Open Era to advance to the last four at Flushing Meadows and is sensationally still yet to drop a set, this time overcoming the Olympic champion – her first career top-40 opponent – 6-3 6-4.

Now, in this US Open packed full of surprises, the 18-year-old will certainly fancy her chances against either Karolina Pliskova or Maria Sakkari.

Raducanu had lost the opening two games against Shelby Rogers in the previous round but then won 12 of the remaining 13. She would have been prepared then for another tough start, immediately broken to love and again trailing 2-0.

The teenager soon grew into the contest and had Bencic on the back foot, able to squander an opportunity in the sixth game with a rash, rushed effort at the end of a rally but still break when her opponent double-faulted and then found the net.

Raducanu battled back from 0-30 down to hold and went after the Bencic serve again. Her ability to consistently return unsettled the more experienced player, who survived a scare after another double fault yet was beaten at the net when the next break point arrived, teed up by a staggering rally and forehand winner.

The opener was swiftly settled before Bencic gained a measure of control in the second only to be disrupted by the same issues again. A sublime Raducanu return gave her another opportunity, taken courtesy of the latest double fault.

Three-time major champion Andy Murray had told Amazon Prime that Raducanu would find it "difficult" to enjoy this match, but she cracked a smile having passed up a further opening and a wide grin then greeted the momentous clinching point.

Data Slam: Bencic beaten by Raducanu returns

This match was decided on Bencic's serve, as she became increasingly frustrated by her inability to break down Raducanu's return game. The 11th seed landed 61 per cent of her first serves yet fired in only a single ace. Bencic was made to work for the 23 points she won on her first serve and then took just nine of a potential 21 on her second.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Raducanu – 23/12
Bencic – 19/21

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Raducanu – 6/2
Bencic – 1/5

BREAK POINTS WON

Raducanu – 3/6
Bencic – 1/5

Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime feels "ready to attack the biggest stages" of tennis after becoming the first male player born in the 2000s to reach a major semi-final.

Auger-Aliassime advanced to face second seed Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals on Friday after a 6-3 3-1 walkover win over Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz who succumbed to an upper right leg injury after back-to-back five-set wins.

The 21-year-old Canadian, whose previous best performance at a major was reaching this year's Wimbledon quarter-finals, has defeated Alcaraz, Francis Tiafoe and 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut on his way to the last four.

Prior to this year's Wimbledon, Auger-Aliassime had never gone beyond the fourth round at a major.

"There's one part, I'm feeling more and more confident playing in these big stages," he told ESPN. "It doesn’t get much bigger than this. When you get comfortable on this court [Arthur Ashe Stadium], everything else is a bit lower.

"I've tried to switch my mentality over the past year to try to be more consistent with my focus, my confidence and my inner self belief. I feel I've grown a lot as a person and a player and now I feel like I'm ready to attack the biggest stages of our sport."

Auger-Aliassime labelled the career milestone as "amazing", albeit coming with a "weird ending" as Alcaraz retired without any major signs of injury beforehand.

The Canadian will take on 2021 Australian Open runner-up Medvedev, who defeated Auger-Aliassime in their only previous meeting in 2018.

"He's one of the best players, he's the most solid on hard courts probably right now with [Alexander] Zverev and Novak [Djokovic]," Auger-Aliassime said during his on-court post-match interview.

"I'm going to have to play my best tennis, try to mix things up, maybe come in a lot, try to see what I can do to disturb him."

Auger-Aliassime's triumph also means two Canadians have reached the men's and women's semi-finals at the same major for only the second time, following Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon in 2014.

He joins Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez who defeated fifth Elina Svitolina in three sets to continue her dream run at the US Open reaching the last four.

"It's fantastic. She's amazing," Auger-Aliassime said about 19-year-old Fernandez. "I watched her match again today, I really hope the best for her.

"She's a great person, she's got great heart. I'm really happy all her hard work is paying off. I hope we keep going."

Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime has progressed to his first-ever major semi-final after Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz's shock withdrawal in the second set of their US Open quarter-final.

Alcaraz, who had won back-to-back five-setters to reach the last eight, retired 68 minutes into Tuesday's quarter-final trailing 6-3 3-1.

The result means Auger-Aliassime, who has never won an ATP Tour title, will take on second seed Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals on Friday.

The Spanish 18-year-old was attended to by a physiotherapist 2-1 down in the second set and was seen pointing to his upper right leg without receiving any discernible treatment.

Alcaraz had not shown any major signs of injury prior to that yet withdrew following the completion of the next game with the Canadian in control.

Beyond the unusual circumstances, the victory marks a major milestone for 21-year-old Auger-Aliassime, who joins countrywoman Leylah Fernandez in reaching this year's US Open semi-finals.

This marks the second time that two Canadians have reached the semis in the same grand slam, joining Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard at Wimbledon in 2014.

Auger-Aliassime, whose best previous major result was reaching this year's Wimbledon quarter-finals, was strong on his first serve early, delivering 6-1 aces in the first set.

Leading 3-2, the Canadian broke Alcaraz at the third attempt, before both players held to give Auger-Aliassime the chance to serve for the set at 5-3.

In a dramatic game, Auger-Aliassime offered up three break points trailing 0-40, only to rally and win the game to close out the set in 44 minutes, aided by 12 winners.

The 21-year-old broke Alcaraz in the first game of the second set, before Alcaraz's premature retirement, handing the Canadian victory.

Data Slam: First of a new men's generation

Auger-Aliassime becomes the first male born in the 2000s to reach a Grand Slam semi-final, marking a new generation in men's tennis.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Auger-Aliassime – 15/16

Alcaraz – 9/16

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Auger-Aliassime – 8/4

Alcaraz – 1/1

BREAK POINTS WON

Auger-Aliassime – 2/7

Alcaraz – 0/3

Aryna Sabalenka has ranked among the top dozen players in the world since 2018, but her grand slam results always seemed underwhelming. 

In 12 career majors heading into 2021, Sabalenka had advanced past the third round only once, a fourth-round exit at the 2018 US Open. 

Now she is into her second successive grand slam semi-final after defeating Barbora Krejcikova 6-1 6-4 Tuesday, and she said the adjustments she has made this year have paid off. 

"I think I improved my volley game, my slice game," Sabalenka told ESPN after her latest win. "I mean, I would like to say my service game [too] but today's didn't work well."

She added with a smile: "I don't know, maybe the court's a little bit smaller, I don't know, I need to check it. But, yeah, I improved a lot."

Indeed, Sabalenka won seven of eight net points (to eight of 14 for her opponent) and consistently won points on her first serve even though it did not go in as often as she would have liked. 

Sabalenka entered the match having won 82 per cent of points on her first serve in the tournament and was down to 76 per cent Tuesday as she got only 57 per cent of her first serves in the court, but that was plenty good enough to handle Krejcikova. 

She said she focussed on putting as many balls back in play as she could and believed that was the key to her victory, as her opponent had 29 unforced errors and just 14 winners. 

Though the match was rather one-sided, Sabalenka enjoyed the support of the crowd in her first time playing Arthur Ashe Stadium during the night session. 

"I really love to be in New York and the US Open, one of my favourite slams, and I'm really enjoying my game here and every second on this court," she said. 

She also knows she probably will not get the same level of fan support in the semi-final, where she will face Canadian teen sensation Leylah Fernandez. 

"She's playing well, she's moving well and the crowd here [is] for her so I would say it's like nothing to lose for her," Sabalenka said. "It's going to be interesting match and I'm really looking forward to this one."

Second seed Daniil Medvedev refuses to start thinking about a US Open final against Novak Djokovic despite reaching his third straight semi-final at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday.

Medvedev dropped a set for the first time at this year's US Open but still got through, winning 6-3 6-0 4-6 7-5 over Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old will play the winner of the quarter-final between Canadian 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz in the last four.

Top seed Djokovic, who has won all three majors this year, looms on the other side of the draw, with a quarter-final match-up on Wednesday against sixth seed Matteo Berrettini, while fourth seed Alexander Zverev is still alive.

"I don't think about him [Djokovic], because as we saw, anybody can beat anybody," Medvedev said at his post-match news conference.

"If he's in the final, and if I'm there, I'm happy. He plays on the days where I don't play so I watch his matches just because I enjoy watching tennis.

"I'm not going to root or cheer for somebody. I'm just gonna enjoy the tennis and then prepare for the winner. It's same every match."

Medvedev's victory clinches his spot in the final four at Flushing Meadows for the third straight year, having lost the 2019 final to Rafael Nadal.

"[I'm] really happy to be in the semis again, third time in a row," Medvedev said. "I couldn't dream of it four years ago, but now it's three."

Medvedev will be several years older than his next opponent, with Auger-Aliassime turning 21 last month and Alcaraz is still only 18.

Neither has ever reached a major semi-final either, while Medvedev will be playing in his fourth, having won two of them previously including at this year's Australian Open.

"I always said that experience helps me," Medvedev said. "You never know, because you're gonna play tough opponents, semis or final.

"Who knows? Maybe Novak. But first of course Felix or Carlos. Whoever wins gonna be on huge fire. You know they are much younger than even me.

"But for them it's going to be a first semis of a slam. Experience is not everything, because, for example, when I was in my first semis of a slam, I won it. Doesn't mean if you're there for the first time you're gonna lose it. But I like that I have this experience."

Aryna Sabalenka is into the semi-finals at a second successive grand slam after making easy work of Barbora Krejcikova at the US Open on Tuesday. 

The second seed cruised past eighth-seeded Krejcikova 6-1 6-4 to set up a semi-final meeting with Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez at Flushing Meadows. 

Sabalenka is coming off a semi-final appearance at Wimbledon, her best career result in a major, and she was rarely tested in her quarter-final rout of Krejcikova.

The pair appeared evenly matched heading in, both having won 42 matches this year with Krejcikova taking three tournament titles – including Roland Garros – and Sabalenka two. But there was a clear separation between the pair on this night at Arthur Ashe Stadium. 

Sabalenka started strong, breaking Krejcikova in her first service game to take an early lead and never looking back as she hit 12 winners to the Czech's five in the opening set.

Krejcikova lost her last chance to salvage the first set in the sixth game, as she double-faulted on the fourth break point she faced in the game to give Sabalenka a 5-1 lead before the Belarusian had an easy hold to secure the set. 

The second set featured more of the same as Sabalenka broke her opponent in the opening game, dropping only one point as Krejcikova imploded with three unforced errors and a double fault. 

Sabalenka was not quite as sharp as the set unfolded, falling behind 0-30 in consecutive service games, but she fought back to win both without facing a break point. 

While Krejcikova stablised on her own service games, the damage was done. Sabalenka served out the match without dropping a point, capping her triumph with an ace. 

 

Data Slam: Sabalenka top winner on Tour

The victory was Sabalenka's 43rd match win of the year against 14 losses, breaking a tie with Krejcikova (42-11) and Ash Barty (42-8), both of whom have won grand slam titles this season, for the most WTA Tour wins in 2021. 

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Krejcikova – 14/29
Sabalenka – 22/23

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Krejcikova– 4/5
Sabalenka – 6/7

BREAK POINTS WON

Krejcikova – 1/6
Sabalenka – 4/10

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.