Two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka, fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka, Magda Linette and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina will meet in the women’s semi-final on Thursday (January 25) at Melbourne Park. Places in the 2023 first tennis grand slam trophy game will be up for grabs.
The four booked their places in the semi-finals on Wednesday in contrasting style, culminating in the continuation of Linette’s dream run that saw her qualify for her first Grand Slam semi-final in 29 attempts.
Olympics.com checks out what to expect in the semi-finals.
Magda Linette vs. Aryna Sabalenka
The last eight of the women’s draw featured a Grand Slam quarterfinal debutant in Linette.
After denial Anett Kontaveit, Yekaterina Aleksandrova and champion of the WTA Finals Carolina GarciaLinette, 30, had a difficult date with the former world No. 1 Carolina Pliskowa.
The late blooming Polish player defeated the Czech Pliskova 6:3, 7:5 in the 89th minute.
Next up, Linette’s 45th seed is against fifth seed Sabalenka, whom she has never beaten in previous matches.
“I will never forget it. Dreams are coming true, we’re moving on,” Linette said at the post-match press conference.
“I mean, it’s going to stay with me for life, so I’m really grateful. I don’t want to get too excited because we’re still in the tournament, but I’m very grateful and happy.”
became third woman in seven years from Poland, after world number 1 Iga Swiatek and Agnieszka Radwanska advance to the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
The hard-hitting Sabalenka remains undefeated after surviving a tough test against Croatia Donna Vekic 6-3, 6-2.
Seeded fifth, the Belarusian, who will now play in her fourth major semi-final, has won all nine matches this season in straight sets.
“I was calm and sort of expected this game from her, so I was able to stay in the game no matter what – I think that was the key,” Sabalenka said.
Elena Rybakina vs Victoria Azarenka
Three-time Olympian Azarenka’s pursuit of her third Australian Open stayed on track as she overcame America’s third seed Jessica Pegula 6:4, 6:1 in the quarterfinals.
Azarenka, the second Belarusian in the last four, played in the quarter-finals for the first time since she was born in 2016. Wednesday’s triumph marked her first Grand Slam top-five win since the 2012 US Open.
“I knew from the first point I had to bring it to take my chances. I am very proud that I executed my game plan very well. It’s amazing to be in the semi-finals of another Grand Slam.”
In the next round, the 33-year-old will face the Wimbledon champion Rybakina. She was the first to book a spot in the last four, beating Elena Ostapenko in straight sets 6-2 6-4. She is 23 years old and the youngest of the semi-finalists the first Kazakhstan to reach the bottom four at the Australian Open.
“I’m definitely going to watch a bit [of] my adversary,” said Rybakina, 22n.d seed. “At the same time [I] you have to forget about tennis a bit, even if only for a few hours, rest your mind and prepare yourself again for a hard match and fight.”
Australian Open women’s semi-finals schedule
(All local times GMT+11)
Day 11 – Thursday 26th January – Night Session – Rod Laver Arena
- 19:30 – Elena Rybakina (22) vs Victoria Azarenka (24)
- 20:45 – Magda Linette vs. Aryna Sabalenka (5)
Where to watch Australian Open 2023
Viewers in Australia can watch the Australian Open on Nine nets, uncoded sender. The Nine network broadcasts on a variety of channels.
In Europe, tennis matches can be followed live on Eurosport. ESPN has the rights in the United States, where the action is also broadcast live on ESPN+.
The highlights can also be found on AO’s official YouTube channel.