Aryna Sabalenka dismissed Madison Keys in straight sets to reach the Wimbledon semifinals, here on Wednesday. Sabalenka is now one win away from overtaking Iga Swiatek as the top-ranked player.
After defeating No.25 seed Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4 in quarterfinals, Sabalenka will need to defeat No.6 Ons Jabeur, who knocked off defending champion Elena Rybakina in three sets.
Asked what motivates Sabalenka more -- the chance for her first Wimbledon title, or the No.1 ranking?, she said," "To be honest. I want both. But I’m trying to focus on myself because I know if I start thinking about all this stuff, I'm going to lose my focus on the court, my game."
"Later on we'll see if I’m ready to become World No. 1, or if I’m ready to play another final," she added.
Sabalenka is the only woman to reach at least the semifinals of the past four Grand Slams. The reigning Australian Open champion has won 17 of 18 matches at this year’s majors, equaling Serena Williams' feat of 2015.
On the other hand, Keys entered the match with a flawless 9-0 record this year on grass, going back to her second title at Eastbourne. This was the 28-year-old American's second quarter final here, but Wimbledon remains the only major she hasn’t advanced to the semifinals.
Sabalenka has now reached 40 match-wins for the year, behind only Swiatek. This run is particularly meaningful to her considering she was unable to play a year ago.
"I was really sad, but at the same time I was thinking that, 'OK, it’s a good time to kind of like reset and start everything over again," Sabalenka said.
"I was struggling a lot with my serve, with these emotions, with a lot of stuff. I just took that time as a good preparation, as a good little switch.
I did really good work, and it helped me at the US Open. Then I started believing in myself more, I started playing better, I started feeling better on court. Emotionally, I start feeling better. I think this period gave me so much belief in myself," he added.