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Tennis: Sabalenka, pushed by Svitolina and in quarter suffering in Rome

The Belarusian, dominated in the first set, equalized at one set everywhere with authority, but lost the first two games of the decisive set.

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Tennis: Sabalenka, pushed by Svitolina and in quarter suffering in Rome

The Belarusian, dominated in the first set, equalized at one set everywhere with authority, but lost the first two games of the decisive set. She returned to the lead by winning four games in a row, but did not conclude at 5-4 on her serve. Trailing 6-5 on her next service game, she even had to dismiss a match point in favor of Svitolina. The two players were decided at the end of a thrilling decisive game, Svitolina obtaining two new match points before Sabalenka concluded on her second opportunity after two hours and 24 minutes of play. In the quarter-finals on Wednesday, Sabalenka, finalist in Madrid ten days ago, will be opposed to the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko (10th).

Provided that her body holds up: the winner of the last Australian Open requested the intervention of the tournament's medical staff between the 2nd and 3rd rounds, then during the first two changes of sides during the 3rd set for pain. in the lower back. At the end of the match, Svitolina, as Ukrainian players have done since the start of the war in Ukraine when they face Russian and Belarusian players, did not shake hands with her opponent at the net and returned directly to her chair.

The duel between the Belarusian and the Ukrainian, however, did not have the political dimension of their previous confrontation, a little less than a year ago in the quarter-final of Roland-Garros. At the end of this duel won 6-4, 6-4, Sabalenka participated for the first time in the obligatory post-match press conference and answered a question on the war led by Russia, with help from its Belarusian ally in Ukraine. “I do not support the war, which means that I do not support Lukashenko at the moment,” she then replied.

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