Aryna Sabalenka cruises through to Italian Open semi-finals

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World number two Aryna Sabalenka cruised through to the semi-finals of the Italian Open with victory over ninth seed Jelena Ostapenko.

The Belarusian needed just one hour and 13 minutes to dispatch Latvian Ostapenko 6-2 6-4.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Sabalenka will face compatriot Victoria Azarenka or American 13th seed Danielle Collins in the last four in Rome.

She could then face world number one Iga Swiatek in the final, a repeat of the Madrid Open final earlier this month which the Polish top seed won in dramatic fashion.

Swiatek takes on world number three Coco Gauff in the other semi-final, making it the first time the top three women’s players in the world have reached the semi-finals of a WTA event of 250 level or higher since the 2013 French Open.

“With this amazing atmosphere and with this amazing support – that’s why I’m super motivated here and that’s why I always say that this is the dream tournament for me to win,” said Sabalenka.

“I really enjoy playing here so I don’t have to think about being focused. I’m just here enjoying it and doing everything I can to win every point I play no matter what the score. I guess that’s the key.”

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