Top seed Aryna Sabalenka passed a stern clay-court test from Laura Siegemund to reach the quarterfinals at the Internationaux de Strasbourg.
WTA Staff
May 22, 2019

STRASBOURG, France - Top seed Aryna Sabalenka won eight of the last 11 games to edge qualifier Laura Siegemund and reach the last eight at the Internationaux de Strasbourg, 6-4, 6-3.

Gunning for back-to-back victories for the first time in over two months, the World No.11 was down a break three times early, but rebounded immediately each time to stay in touch in a competitive opening set. 

Sabalenka turned up the heat in the set's late stages, staving off Siegemund in a competitive ninth game to keep her lead, before breaking for the fourth time - to love - to seal the opener.

Related: 'Demanding and brutally honest' - Tursunov on his approach to coaching Sabalenka

She later rounded into form in the second set, winning 12 of the first 14 points and the first three games overall to stretch her streak to five. 

The former World No.27 and current World No.99 stopped the run by escaping out of a 0-40 deficit to hold, and edged out two more competitive games on her serve to stay in touch, but won just five points in Sabalenka's five service games in the second set.

"I'm so excited with this result, especially on a clay court," Sabalenka said after the match.

"I'm happy that I found my game on the clay, and hopefully I can keep it for a long time. It was a great match today, and we both showed a great level. I'm so happy that I could handle this level."

Having not won back-to-back matches since reaching the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March, Sabalenka has now scored her first two wins on red clay for the season with the French Open set to begin on Sunday.

The top seed will contest her first quarterfinal since she reached the semifinals of the St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy in February against former champion Monica Puig, who Australian qualifier Astra Sharma in straight sets.

"When you lose a lot of matches, then you have nothing to lose," Sabalenka said. "You do everything you can, and that's it. This is my attitude [on the clay moving forward]."