US Open 2021: Aryna Sabalenka through

…Despite broken hand

Second seed Aryna Sabalenka says she was “scared” she had broken her hand during her 6-3 6-1 victory over Tamara Zidansek in the US Open second round.

The Belarusian fell heavily in the opening set and iced her wrist and hand regularly during changeovers.

She recovered to beat Zidansek in an hour, setting up a third-round tie with American Danielle Collins.

Afterwards she said her hand was “getting bigger” and the bruising on her finger was “getting darker”.

“I was really scared that I broke it, it was really painful,” Sabalenka added.

“I’m really happy that I could finish this match. I have an extra day to see what’s going on and maybe to do the best recovery I can.”

Earlier on Wednesday, two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep made the most of a change in schedule to win her second-round match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Romanian Halep, who has struggled with injuries this year, comfortably beat Slovakia’s Kristina Kucova 6-3 6-1 after she was moved from an outside court when defending champion Naomi Osaka was handed a walkover.

Playing under a roof, Halep was able to avoid the rain which interrupted several other matches on day three at Flushing Meadows.

“I was a little bit lucky to play here with the roof,” said the 12th seed, who will face Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in the third round.

Nineteenth seed Rybakina beat Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-1 6-4.

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