| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo Credit: Brandon Todd/USTA


Two of the biggest hitters on the WTA Tour will square off inside Rod Laver Arena on Saturday with the Australian Open championship on the line. Elena Rybakina will seek her second major title while Aryna Sabalenka is aiming to win the maiden major of her career, as each won their respective semifinals on Thursday.  

Up first in the semifinals on Thursday was last year’s Wimbledon champion Rybakina taking on two-time Aussie Open champion Victoria Azarenka, with the former advancing with a 7-6(4), 6-3 victory.

“For sure I’m super happy, I’m super proud,” said Rybakina. “I’m very happy to play here one more time. Today it was a little tough for me, different conditions, I couldn’t be super aggressive. In the end I managed to win and I’ll try my best in the final, of course.”

The 17th seeded Rybakina blasted 30 winners and broke Azarenka’s serve five times throughout the one hour and 41 minute showdown.

“For sure I got a lot of experience from Wimbledon, to be honest I just want to come on court and enjoy the moment, the atmosphere,” Rybakina added. “I’ll try my best, fight and hopefully I’m going to win.”

That fight will come against Sabalenka who defeated Magda Linette 7-6(1), 6-2 in her semifinal bout on Thursday.

“I would say I didn’t start really well. In the tiebreak, I kind of found my rhythm, start trusting myself, start going for the shots,” said Sabalenka. “I’m super happy that I was able to get this win. She’s an unbelievable player, she played really great tennis.”

Sabalenka is now into the first major final of her career, and will carry a 3-0 head-to-head record against Rybakina into the match on Saturday.