Aryna Sabalenka is ready for the fight in US Open final against Coco Gauff

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The new world No. 1 barely made it out of her semifinal against Madison Keys, but it showed her she's prepared to take on Coco Gauff in the final.

During the 2022 US Open, Sabalenka was on the other side of a devastating semifinal loss, having won the opening set before falling to eventual championIt's been a monumental stretch for Sabalenka since her exit in New York last September. She opened 2023 with the title at Adelaide and then won the first major of her career in Melbourne.

She narrowed the gap as the season went on, and, entering the US Open, she simply needed to match or do better than Swiatek's final result. When Swiatek lost in the fourth round, Sabalenka then became the No. 1 in waiting, to be made official in the rankings released after the tournament. When speaking to the media the next day, she said she was happy about the milestone but wasn't really thinking about it just yet.

"I'm focusing on [the] US Open," Sabalenka said."I don't want to celebrate anything before the end of the US Open. So I just want to focus on this tournament more than on world No. 1." Yet, despite her incredible year and her soon-to-be ranking, she's been somewhat under the radar during her time in New York. Her first three matches were played in Louis Armstrong Stadium, not Ashe, and her results have been overshadowed by other players and storylines.

 

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