PRAGUE (AFP) – Aryna Sabalenka staged a spectacular comeback against Spanish qualifier Sara Sorribes Tormo to reach the semi-finals of the Ostrava Open WTA tournament on Friday.
The powerful Belarusian lost the first ten games to a fast, focussed Sorribes Tormo and came within a point of losing another.
But she miraculously recovered as she suddenly started to find the court with her groundstrokes and went on to take the next 12 games for a 0-6, 6-4, 6-0 win.
The day before, the world number 12 had already come back from 5-2 down in the third set against American teenager Coco Gauff.
“I just wanted to win at least one game,” said a laughing Sabalenka.
“Everything went like I wasn’t on the court. I was out of the game and I didn’t know why.”
“Then I cooled down a bit, took one step back and tried to put a little bit more balls back and go through her backhand.”
“After I won three games in a row I knew this was a good sign and if I keep going the same way, I’ll find my game. And that’s what happened.”
In the semi-final, Sabalenka will take on Jennifer Brady, who beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-1.
Sabalenka’s compatriot Viktoria Azarenka swept Elise Mertens in straight sets.