Not without suspense. The clock strikes nearly one in the morning in New York when Aryna Sabalenka emits a blood-curdling roar that echoes through New York’s sprawling power station, from where she watches double tournament champion Naomi Osaka. The Japanese has been seen these days by the tournament after having been a mother and from the stands she sees that the landscape that she left in January has changed. Iga Swiatek, the great dominator until the Japanese began the hiatus, is not on the court, but the Belarusian is, who has taken over the reins of the circuit and is now aiming for her second great title after beating Madison Keys (0-6, 7-6(1) and 7-6(5).The final on Saturday (22.00, Movistar) is served: Sabalenka against the local heroine, Coco Gauff, superior in the first round to Karolina Muchova (6-4 and 7 -5).
In a practically implausible way, the one from Minsk has overcome a duel that has slipped through Keys’ fingers. The American had taken the first set blank and then served to close the match, with 5-4 in the second, but the tremble has cost her dearly and at the moment of truth, in the fate of the tiebreaker, the rival does not fail when snapping Today, Sabalenka is not one of those who doubts, an absolute example of hunger and regularity. She triumphed in the Australian Open, remained in the semifinals of Roland Garros and Wimbledon, and now reaches her first final of the US Open, from where she will emerge as brilliant number one by picking up the baton from the Polish Swiatek, eliminated in the round of 16 .
His 2023 translates into 50 wins, two trophies (Australia and Madrid) and a spectacular record in the Grand Slams, with 23 wins and just two losses. Deservedly elevated, she will face Gauff in the outcome of the tournament, which a priori It translates into the best possible pulse: it is the best of the year against the strongest of the moment. The 19-year-old American landed in Flushing Meadows on the momentum garnered from her in Washington (her first WTA 500) and Cincinnati (her first WTA 1000), and she’s one step away from fulfilling a personal desire to hoist her first major and also the one from the stands, who sees it as the great hope in the short, medium and long term.
“Being in the final is incredible, but I’m still not satisfied. When I say there is still work to do, it is a reference to Kobe [Bryant, baloncestista fallecido en 2020 en un accidente de helicoptero]. She had an incredible mentality and tried to do the same; I enjoy it, but I must move on. I have a lot left to do,” says Coco, who has 11 victories this summer and will try to redeem herself from last year’s defeat at Roland Garros, where she was beaten in the final episode by Swiatek. “Then I was surprised to reach the final; Now I didn’t expect to do it either, but I feel relieved to have achieved it because of everything that is expected of me. “Now I have the maturity and ability to achieve it, and regardless of what happens on Saturday, I will be proud of how I have handled these last few weeks,” the world number three continues.
The precedents indicate that Gauff dominates the melee with Sabalenka 3-2, and 2-1 on cement (outside). She – directed by the Catalan Pere Riba – and Muchova had to overcome a 49-minute interruption due to the protest of three activists who denounced the use of fossil fuels from the stands. One of them stuck his feet to the concrete and security employees had difficulty dislodging him. The tennis players retired to the locker room gym to avoid getting angry.
“I don’t know exactly what they were protesting about, but it was about the environment. I believe in that one hundred percent. I think we can do things much better. What would I prefer not to happen in my game? Of course yes, I’m not going to lie… But I had the feeling that it was going to happen here too, because it already happened at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. It is what it is. Moments like this define history, they are decisive. Climate change exists. She wasn’t angry at these people; If they felt like they had to do that to make themselves heard, I can’t be angry with them,” resolves Gauff, the great local joy. The party is not complete due to the fall of Keys, but New York is already enjoying the magnificent poster for the final.
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Source: EL PAIS