Sabalenka eases past Ostapenko to reach Italian Open semifinals. Tabilo extends his surprising run

sabalenka eases past ostapenko to reach italian open semifinals. tabilo extends his surprising run

Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka celebrates after defeating Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in the women's quarterfinal match at the Italian Open tennis tournament at Rome's Foro Italico, Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonietta Baldassarre)

ROME (AP) — Aryna Sabalenka showed no ill-effects from her previous marathon match as she eased past Jelena Ostapenko to reach the semifinals of the Italian Open on Wednesday.

The second-seeded Sabalenka needed just 73 minutes to win 6-2, 6-4, setting up match point with an ace and then sealing the result when Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, returned into the net.

In men's action, 29th-seeded Alejandro Tabilo of Chile extended his surprising run by beating Zhang Zhizhen 6-3, 6-4 to follow up his upset victories over Novak Djokovic and Karen Khachanov in the previous two rounds.

sabalenka eases past ostapenko to reach italian open semifinals. tabilo extends his surprising run

Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia return a shot against Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka during their women's quarterfinal match at the Italian Open tennis tournament at Rome's Foro Italico, Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonietta Baldassarre)

Tabilo, who hasn't dropped a set during his first appearance in Rome, served an ace down the T on his first match point.

In his first Masters series semifinal, Tabilo will face either 2017 champion Alexander Zverev or 11th-seeded Taylor Fritz, who were playing later.

sabalenka eases past ostapenko to reach italian open semifinals. tabilo extends his surprising run

Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka celebrates after defeating Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in the women's quarterfinal match at the Italian Open tennis tournament at Rome's Foro Italico, Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonietta Baldassarre)

The other quarterfinal matches are scheduled for Thursday. Stefanos Tsitsipas faces Nicolas Jarry — another Chilean — and Hubert Hurkacz plays Tommy Paul.

Sabalenka, who didn’t allow the ninth-seeded Ostapenko a break opportunity, showed no sign of the back problem that required treatment during Monday’s three-setter against Elina Svitolina that ended well after midnight local time.

The 26-year-old Sabalenka said she didn't even practice on Tuesday and focused instead on treatment and recovery. And that clearly paid off.

“I would definitely say that it was the best performance of the tournament," Sabalenka said. “I’m super happy that I was able to play without pain today and hopefully with every day I will feel better and better, and I will recover as good as I can for the next match.”

sabalenka eases past ostapenko to reach italian open semifinals. tabilo extends his surprising run

Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia gestures during a women's quarterfinal match against Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka at the Italian Open tennis tournament at Rome's Foro Italico, Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonietta Baldassarre)

Sabalenka will next face the winner of the match later Wednesday between Victoria Azarenka and Danielle Collins.

All three top-ranked women have reached the final four in Rome as the other semifinal pits the top-ranked Iga Swiatek against No. 3 Coco Gauff.

Rome is the last big warmup tournament on clay before the French Open starts in 11 days.

___

AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis

sabalenka eases past ostapenko to reach italian open semifinals. tabilo extends his surprising run

China's Zhang Zhizhen returns the ball to Chile's Alejandro Tabilo during the quarterfinal match at the Italian Open tennis tournament at Rome's Foro Italico, Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonietta Baldassarre)

sabalenka eases past ostapenko to reach italian open semifinals. tabilo extends his surprising run

Chile's Alejandro Tabilo celebrates a winning point during the quarterfinal match against China's Zhang Zhizhen at the Italian Open tennis tournament at Rome's Foro Italico, Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonietta Baldassarre)

sabalenka eases past ostapenko to reach italian open semifinals. tabilo extends his surprising run

Chile's Alejandro Tabilo returns the ball to China's Zhang Zhizhen during the quarterfinal match at the Italian Open tennis tournament at Rome's Foro Italico, Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonietta Baldassarre)

sabalenka eases past ostapenko to reach italian open semifinals. tabilo extends his surprising run

Chile's Alejandro Tabilo celebrates after defeating China's Zhang Zhizhen in the quarterfinal match at the Italian Open tennis tournament at Rome's Foro Italico, Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (AP Photo/Antonietta Baldassarre)

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