Magda Linette and Aryna Sabalenka completed the field of four women's semifinalists in Australian Open 2023. Polish player achieved her biggest career's success, advancing to the semis after a straight sets wins against Karolina Pliskova, while Sabalenka has not dissapointed in a role of pre-match favorite in her quarterfinal against Donna Vekic.
Linette approached the quarterfinal match against Pliskova, already achieving her best ever Grand Slam result, having nothing to lose in a match-up with former WTA ranking's leader who was a slight favorite according to pre-match odds. The match started with both players losing their opening service games. Since then, Linette started to play with a bigger confidence than her opponent, gaining a break advantage in 6th game and resisting the pressure in 9th game, when she clinched the set win despite facing a breakpoint on own serve.
Second set was a tight contest, as both players were trying to put a pressure on the opponent. Linette saved two breakpoints in fourth game, while Pliskova managed to defend as much as 6 breakpoints in her following two service games. The Pole followed the blow after winning first set and were tenaciously waiting for the chance to gain the advantage in second one, finally breaking Pliskova in 11th game and serving out her biggest victory in tennis career, winning whole the match with a score 6-3 7-5.
Following the AO success, Polish player will achieve her career's highest rank, advancing to at least 22nd place on the WTA list next Monday.
Aryna Sabalenka was considered as a favorite before the quarterfinal match against Donna Vekic. The Croatian was not an easy match-up though, as she won 5 out of all 6 previous matches with Sabalenka, considering the latest duel in quarterfinal of San Diego WTA 500 tournament in October last year. Despite that, Sabalenka was approaching today's match being in a stunning form, winning all her matches in 2023 so far without losing a set, taking an Adelaide WTA 500 title on the road.
First was a little bit shaky one, as both players were struggling with their serves, with multiple breakpoints in almost every game. Despite that, only three games were ended with a break, with a decisive one going for account of Sabalenka in 8th game, as the favorite won this difficult and competitive set 6-3. Second one was another display of great performance of the Belarusian who was on the front foot from the start, breaking Vekic three times in a row and delivering the expected win with a score 6-3 6-2, despite the match was not as easy as the scoreline for the world number 5.