Elena Rybakina has advanced to her maiden Australian Open semi-final and she is on the verge of winning her second Grand Slam title.
The reigning Wimbledon champion is now one of the favourites to win the coveted prize, as per the Australian Open 2023 odds, and she will be checking in on the Australian Open 2023 updates regularly to know who her next adversary is.
The Kazakh will wait for the winner between Victoria Azarenka and Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals, who are ranked 24th and 3rd, respectively, in the updated WTA rankings.
On the other side of the bracket, Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka are expected to meet in the semi-finals. However, they have to take care of business against their unheralded counterparts in the quarter-finals.
Read on below as SBOTOP serves you with the latest news in the women’s draw at the Australian Open.
Rybakina in hot pursuit for No. 2
Elena Rybakina’s road to the semi-finals was not easy at all. After winning easily over Elisabetta Cocciaretto and Kaja Juvan in the earlier rounds, Rybakina had to go through Danielle Collins, Iga Swiatek, and Jelena Ostapenko to get to where she is now.
It took Rybakina two hours and five minutes to claim a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win over Collins and book her spot in the fourth round. She cruised through the opening set, but Collins leveled the match when she won the second set.
The world No. 25 closed out Collins in the third set, and she was the underdog heading into the next round against Iga Swiatek, who was excellent in the previous rounds.
Rybakina’s match against Swiatek was more straightforward, though, as she managed to defeat her in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. She won 79-per cent of his first-service points in the opening set, which basically set the tone to help her win.
Her serve has become a viable weapon here in Melbourne, as she has fired 29 aces in her run to the final four, which is more than any other women’s player at this particular competition.
In the quarter-finals, Rybakina defeated Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. Again, her first serve was one of the main reasons why she beat her with ease.
She will be looking at another juggernaut in the semi-finals, as she’ll take on either Jessica Pegula or Victoria Azarenka. Rybakina is 1-0 against Azarenka, but she has yet to win in two tries against Pegula.
As of this writing, Azarenka and Pegula are competing at the Rod Laver Arena, with the former claiming the first set.
Pliskova and Sabalenka on course to meet in the semis
Karolina Pliskova is through to her 11th career Grand Slam quarter-final after overpowering Zhang Shuai last night, 6-0, 6-4, while Aryna Sabalenka topped Belinda Bencic, 7-5, 6-2, to reach her maiden Australian Open quarter-final.
It only took Pliskova 21 minutes to win the first set against Zhuang, but she was slowed down a bit in the next set. The Czech international came back from 4-2 down in the second set to score the win.
Pliskova’s serve was the key against Zhang as 12 of her 33 winners were aces. She won 82-per cent of her first-service points, and she also broke Zhang’s serve five times.
She is slated to take on world No. 45 Magda Linette, who scored one of the biggest upsets in this tournament, for a place in the semi-final.
Linette defeated world No. 4 Carolina Garcia, 7-6(3), 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena yesterday. It was her fourth career victory against a Top 10 opponent.
Pliskova is 7-2 against Linette in her career. They faced off twice last season, splitting those meetings.
Aryna Sabalenka needed 87 minutes to defeat Belinda Bencic to progress through the quarter-finals. Sabalenka had a difficult time putting away Bencic in their back-and-fourth first set, and it took a double-fault from Bencic for Sabalenka to claim the opener.
Sabalenka seized control with a break for 3-1 in the second set, and she was never troubled from there. The 24-year-old had 32 winners compared to Bencic’s 14.
Her opponent, Vekic, is through to the quarter-finals after a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 triumph over Linda Fruhvirtova after more than two hours of play.
Unlike Pliskova against Linette, Vekic holds a commanding 5-1 lead in her head-to-heads against Sabalenka.
Should Pliskova and Sabalenka defeat Linette and Vekic, respectively, they will meet for the sixth time ever in the semi-finals. In their head-to-head, Sabalenka holds a 3-2 lead over Pliskova.
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