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Sabalenka reached the quarterfinals in Adelaide after returning

Aryna Sabalenka, ranked fifth in the world, battled back from a 1-5 deficit in the opening set to get to the quarterfinals of the Adelaide International on Wednesday.

The second-seeded Belarusian came back from seven set points to defeat the persistent Russian No. 5 Liudmila Samsonova 7-6 (10/8), 7-6 (7/3). After Marketa Vondrousova dispatched Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in straight sets (6-0, 6-4), she will face the Czech player for a spot in the final four.

After falling down 1-5, Sabalenka commented, “When you’re 1-5 down there’s nothing to lose and you simply go for your strokes without thinking.” She had been playing against a player who had won trophies in Tokyo, Cleveland, and Washington in order to get into the top 20 last year. “That encouraged me to stick with the set and keep struggling and trying. Defeating her was difficult since she is a phenomenal player with a powerful serve.”

Sabalenka started her Adelaide campaign off with two doubles victories with Lidziya Marozava, thanks to a first-round bye. She reached the US Open semifinals that year, but ultimately fell in three sets to the 20th-ranked Samsonova in Guadalajara.

Vondrousova was eager to put behind her erratic 2022, during which she lost six months due to a wrist injury, and reach the quarterfinals for the first time since the Dubai finals, over a year ago. “To put it simply, I’m ecstatic to be back in the game. The period I spent without playing was really trying, so needless to say, I am overjoyed to be competing at this level again “as she put it. “You must know that I felt fantastic right from the opening of the contest. I anticipated difficulty since I could see she was improving.”

Eighth-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov advanced to the quarterfinals of the men’s tournament after defeating fourth-seeded British player Jack Draper 6-4, 6-2. He will next face either Daniil Medvedev of Russia or Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia, who are both in the top 16.

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