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This match was MUCH closer than the score indicates. Took almost two hours and I believe the first 15 games all went to deuce.

Considering the speed of the serving, the returning was amazing and this is why they were both going for real depth on their second serves because otherwise it was getting blown past them.

There were numerous trolls in the live thread saying retarded things like it was the worst match they had seen. These people have obviously never played a match of tennis in their lives :spitrofl:
 

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Felt the match was more competitive than the scoreline was, a lot of close games, but Aryna is just in too good form right now. Considering the matchup difficultly, and pressure, she played pretty free tennis, and just dictated the majority of the match. Great run from Vekic, who will certainly on this to make 2023 a good season. Fourth semi-final at slam level, she has had tough losses previously, she has held up mentally so far, even with some serving yips here and there today, can she overcome the mental block and play her best in the semis? She is certainly playing well enough to win the tournament.
 

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Aryna battled through while playing her worst match of the tournament.
I went out on a limb and voted for the upset by Vekic (even though I had my doubts).

However, Vekic didn't help her cause with a poor serving day even though Aryna's serve was erratic too.
This was a rhythm-free match with a weird mix of DFs, aces, unreturnables, mistimed returns and return winners per game.

Will Aryna finally break through and get her first slam?
Many victorious campaigns have had a difficult match where the ultimate champion came through despite not playing her best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That was horrid to me....


Watching both of them serve is such a chore and made me so nervous...I have anxiety now...
Donna was particularly atrocious today. Good on Aryna, though. She probably loses this match last January, but she was able to grind her way through
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I said twice that Donna stunk today, but still a very strong tournament showing as a whole. Hopefully she can keep the positive momentum going all season. She deserves to have a fully healthy 2023
 

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I was surprised that Donna was seen as the potential banana skin to be honest. Yes, it was a close match at times and much tighter than the score line, but past matches and H2H aren’t everything and Sabalenka’s current form is so far removed from how she was playing in each of her previous matches vs Vekic, some of which were played before she was even a top player. Vekic does have numerous aspects that will always be in-ideal for Aryna, particularly how she is able to hang with Aryna’s rally-ball, but at the moment Sabalenka’s confidence is just too much to overcome, double faults and occasional brain farts aside.

The draw has come good for Sabalenka at a time in which she’s been in career best form and consistency. She has a calmness about her, and having watched her live twice this fortnight, I’ve never seen her more in control of herself and her game. She’s only 24, but you still get the feeling that this is her moment - win here and potentially push onto further success, or blow yet another wide open opportunity (2021 US Open comes to mind) and suffer more mental scarring in slams.
 

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Donna would have had a greater shot if she served just a little bit better. Just way too low first serve percentage and way too many DFs today to be competitive. Other than her serving woes, I thought she hit well off the ground and returned superbly though. Scoreline does not reflect how tight this match actually was.

I thought Sabalenka's level today wasn't as high as what she showed all week, but she was clutch again when it mattered. Her serve wasn't really clicking today, but her groundstrokes were lethal again. But I'd just want to say that it's really admirable how Sabalenka managed to completely turn her serve around from what it was last year - just pure hard work and determination.

Aryna should get past Linette, but it's quite difficult to say with her since her mental demons might return at any time, especially since she's the huge favourite against Magda. She does look more composed and stable this year though so it might be different. IMO, this is as great as an opportunity she has ever had at winning a slam given her form and how the draw has panned out. This could be a really big breakthrough for Sabalenka if she can get this one.
 
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