Second seeded Aryna Sabalenka taking on Olympic games silver medalist from Czech Republic Marketa Vondrousova in Round three. Aryna bidding for the first Slam of her career, often starts her matches slow and then picks up the rhythm as we go. This one no exception. Marketa was drop shot-ing Aryna with great technique on the hard court you might mistake this as a clay court match. Check out the slice backhand drop at 2-1 Marketa (15-30). Aryna got the break back in the sixth game at 3-2. Her favorite shot is the two handed backhand down the line, check it out at deuce. The change of pace and the follow through a great example of how to execute it. This proved later to be just a short lived breakthrough. Sabalenka’s serve was broken again in the next game. Saba kind of loses her way sometimes psychologically in matches it showed at 3-3. Watch 15-0, Great serve, great forehand, then… This time Marketa made the break of serve stick. Making your opponent serve out the set is a huge advantage as you serve first in the next set. Aryna did so with a solid game at 5-3.
The drop shot was starting to grow stale for the Czech in the second set. Watch first game 15-0. Marketa suddenly started to second guess herself shot wise. Before long it was 2-0 Sabalenka, she is one of the best hitters of the ball on Tour , the Belarussian. In fact both players hit some fantastic winners with the backhand in this match. At 3-0 Vondrousova showed that lefties too have an awesome backhand. Now how do you deal with being on the receiving end of an overhead smash? Watch 3-1 Saba 15-0. Do not commit to either side until the final moment the opponent hits the ball. Solid serving from both players in this match, but double faults for Sabalenka were in the double digits range which threatened to pull her down. She closed out the second set 6-3. Before I head to set three, check out this monster of a defensive forehand at 4-2(15-15) from Marketa. Those are especially sweet to win, those points in which you aren’t the favorite to win. Third set Aryna cleaned up her act in terms of unforced errors and romped away to victory. Marketa was fortunate to win a tight first game (net cord) from there it was all Sabalenka. Watch this variation of an overhead smash(not quite smash but you will get it) at 1-0(15-15). It was more of a touch than smash to take the pace off the ball. Sabalenka won the war from the baseline in set 3 to close it out 6-1. She is on course to meet Ash Barty in the final(barring an upset of course) and will play a tricky opponent in Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.