Jan 24, 2023 at 06:48 Update: 4 minutes ago
Victoria Azarenka reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open on Tuesday with a great victory over Jessica Pegula. The two-time winner did not lose a set against the number three in the world: 6-4 and 6-1. Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina joined the last four at the expense of Jelena Ostapenko: 6-2 and 6-4.
The 28-year-old Pegula mainly disappointed in her serves. The American faltered in almost every service game and was broken no fewer than five times. In the second set, Azarenka awarded her opponent only thirteen points.
With the elimination of Pegula, the field of participants is again one high-ranking player poorer. Earlier, top favorite Iga Swiatek and the global number two Ons Jabeur, among others, were eliminated.
The 33-year-old Azarenka is now only two victories away from her third Australian Open title. The current number 24 in the world won the Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne in 2012 and 2013. She also reached the final of the US Open three times in her career.
Wimbledon winner Rybakina beats Ostapenko
In the semifinals, Azarenka awaits a duel with Rybakina, who was a lot more effective than Ostapenko in the Rod Laver Arena. The number seventeen in the world from Latvia used only one of her eight break points in the game. Rybakina had fewer chances, but won Ostapenko’s service game four times.
With her semi-final place at the Australian Open, Rybakina shows that she is not a one-hit wonder. The Kazakh, the current number 25 in the world, achieved the greatest success of her career in July last year by winning Wimbledon. At the Australian Open, Rybakina never got further than the third round until this edition.
The 25-year-old Ostapenko can leave Australia with her head held high despite her elimination. The 2017 Roland Garros winner has participated in the Australian Open seven times before, but each time she was eliminated before the second tournament week.
In doubles, Demi Schuurs and her American partner Desirae Krawczyk qualified for the quarterfinals. They left Slovak Tereza Mihalikova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus 6-3 and 6-1 without a chance. Schuurs and Krawczyk play for a place in the semifinals against the Czech players Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who are seeded first.
Beeld: Getty Images
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