Sabalenka stops compatriot Azarenka to reach Montreal semis

MONTREAL (AP) — Top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka beat Victoria Azarenka, 6-2, 6-4 on Friday in a quarterfinal between players from Belarus at the National Bank Open.

Sabalenka, ranked No. 3, trailed 4-2 in the second set before winning four games in a row. She had seven aces in the 79-minute match.

“I’m really happy with this, it was a tough match,” Sabalenka said. ”(Azarenka) played really well. The second set was a little tricky. I’m really happy that I came back in the end of the set and won it actually.”

Azarenka was seeded eighth.

“I feel I just didn’t take my opportunities,” Azarenka said. ”It’s as simple as that.”

Sabalenka will face fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the semifinals. Pliskova beat Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-0.

Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur beat

American Jessica Pegula rallied to beat 13th-seeded Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-0 in the late match to set up a semifinal against Italy’s Camila Giorgi.

The 27-year-old Pegula, the daughter of Buffalo Bills and Sabres owners Kim and Terry Pegula, won her lone WTA Tour title in 2019, beating Giorgi in the Citi Open final in Washington.

Jabeur won the Viking Classic in June in England to become the first Arab player to win a WTA Tour singles title.

Giorgi beat 17-year-old American Coco Gauff 6-4, 7-6 (2).

“I think it was a great match,” Giorgi said. “I think I was very consistent. It was a great level, I think.”

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