No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka ended Elina Svitolina's run at the French Open with a 6-4, 6-4 win Tuesday to move through to the semifinals of a clay-court Grand Slam for the first time in her career.
The Australian Open champion, who had never been past the third round in Paris in five prior appearances, has yet to lose a set in five matches this year and has reached the semifinals at all four Grand Slam events.
For a place in her second Grand Slam final of the year, she'll next face unseeded Karolina Muchova, herself a former Top 20 player. The Czech beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Tuesday's other quarterfinal.
How the match was won: Facing Svitolina for the third time overall, and for the first time in three years, Sabalenka earned control of the match in the middle of each set. She won three straight games from 4-3 in the opener, after those seven went with serve, and won four in a row from 2-0 down in the second set.
She needed two match points to wrap up the win, and served out victory after facing 0-30 in the final game. Sabalenka, who will be part of Netflix's "Break Point" in June, now leads Svitolina in their overall head-to-head series 2-1.
"She's such a tough opponent, moving well, and what she's doing after giving birth is so impressive," Sabalenka said afterward. "A big respect to her. It was a tough match and I'm super happy with the win.
"When I was a kid, I practiced a lot on the clay, more than on hard court. ... I feel very comfortable on the clay, and hopefully I can go as far as I can here at Roland Garros."
Sabalenka hit 30 winners to Svitolina's seven, and also won 12 of the 17 points in which she came to net.
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Scouting the semifinals: Muchova and Sabalenka have only played once previously -- a 7-5, 7-6(4) win for Sabalenka in the semifinals of the WTA Elite Trophy in 2019.