16 January 2020

Sabalenka stuns Halep to reach semi-finals of Adelaide International as home favourite Barty comfortably seals spot in final four

Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka caused a huge upset at the Adelaide International as she dumped out Wimbledon champion Simona Halep with a 6-4 6-2 victory.

The 21-year-old, who won the WTA Elite Trophy in China back in October, was broken in the very first game of the match before she hit back to break Halep three times and take the first set.

And the two-time Romanian Grand Slam champion failed to swing the momentum her way in the second set as she lost five games in a row and as Sabalenka dominated her in surprising yet impressive fashion.

After the match, world No 11 Sabalenka said: "I knew she'll fight until the end - it doesn't matter what the score. When the score was 5-love, I kind of expected that she'll try to do everything she can to come back in the match.

"It's really important every match for me because I'm kind of find[ing] this fight[ing] spirit. It helps me a lot."

Sabalenka will face Dayana Yastremska in the semi-finals after the Ukrainian beat Donna Vekic in straight sets 6-4 6-3.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the draw, world No 1 Ashleigh Barty booked her place in the final four with a 6-3 6-3 win over eighth seed Marketa Vondrousova.

The Australian needed just the one break of serve to take the first set, before breaking twice late on in the second to take the match in one hour and 22 minutes.

She will take on American Danielle Collins, who swatted aside Switzerland's Belinda Bencic 6-3 6-1.

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