Thursday, February 9, 2023
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Ominous Sabalenka Sets Up Australian Open Semi-Final With Linette | Tennis News



Aryna Sabalenka arrange a semi-final with surprise-package Magda Linette on Wednesday on the Australian Open, the place Novak Djokovic will later step up his bid for a twenty second Grand Slam title. Belarusian Sabalenka appears red-hot favorite to win her first main crown after one other ruthless show in defeating Croatia’s Donna Vekic 6-3, 6-2 at Rod Laver Arena. Fifth-seeded Sabalenka is the very best remaining seed left in a girls’s draw that has been upended by shocks. The match was nearer than the rating advised, however Sabalenka is in scintillating type — she is but to drop a set in Melbourne and has gained all 9 matches in 2023.

It is a far cry from a 12 months in the past, when she struggled badly along with her serve and was lowered to tears at an Australian Open warm-up event.

“It feels really special to be in the semi-finals here, it was a tough match,” mentioned Sabalenka, 24, who was competing in her first Australian Open quarter-final.

“I’m super happy with the win and it was so great to play here today, the atmosphere was unbelievable.”

Sabalenka will play unseeded Linette for a spot in Saturday’s last after she marched into her first main semi-final on the age of 30.

Linette surprised former world primary Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 7-5 to proceed flying the flag for Poland after the shock exit of world primary Iga Swiatek.

“I’m so emotional, I can’t really believe it,” mentioned Linette, ranked 45 on this planet.

“It’s a dream come true. I’m super grateful and happy. Thank you for cheering and supporting, I really needed this.

“So we hold going. I do not wish to get too excited as a result of we’re nonetheless within the event,” added the Pole, who will break into the top 30 for the first time.

Two-time Melbourne champion Victoria Azarenka will face Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina in the other semi-final.

– Djokovic faces Rublev test –

Djokovic can take a step closer to equalling Rafael Nadal’s men’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles when he faces Andrey Rublev for a place in the semi-finals.

The 35-year-old Serb is hot favourite to win a record-extending 10th Melbourne crown and with his hamstring seemingly recovered he will take some stopping.

He called his three-set mauling of Australian 22nd seed Alex de Minaur on Monday his best match of the year so far.

“Tonight, the best way I performed, the best way I felt, offers me motive now to consider that I can go all the best way,” he warned afterwards.

Djokovic is the only man left in a depleted draw to have won a Grand Slam before.

But even with his left hamstring much improved, Russian fifth seed Rublev will be no pushover.

The 25-year-old showed all his battling qualities to save two match points against talented Danish teenager Holger Rune in the last 16, scrapping his way to victory in five dogged sets.

The other men’s quarter-final is an all-American affair between two unseeded players, Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul.

The 20-year-old Shelton is on his first trip outside the United States.

The first semi-final has already been confirmed, with third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas facing Russian 18th seed Karen Khachanov.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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