Aryna Sabalenka says she used her ban from Wimbledon as motivation in her quest for Grand Slam success after reaching the US Open semi-finals.

Russian and Belarusian players, such as 24-year-old Sabalenka, were not allowed to play at Wimbledon this year because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The world number six said she used the extra “pre-season” to work on her game.

“They took one opportunity from me, and I worked really hard for this one,” she said after beating Karolina Pliskova.

Sabalenka, who beat Czech 22nd seed Pliskova 6-1 7-6 (7-4), will play Poland’s world number one Iga Swiatek in the semi-finals.

Swiatek, 21, advanced to the last four in New York for the first time with a scrappy 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win over American hope Jessica Pegula.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.