Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka are the finalists of women's Australian Open 2023. Both the players were favorites of their semifinal matches and advanced to the final after straight set wins. Today's semifinals had some moments of tense battle despite the one-sided results though.
Match against Rybakina and Victoria Azarenka has started today's evening session on Rod Laver Arena. The opening set was quite a test for the Kazakh, who got broken by two times AO champion in fifth game. Rybakina responded pretty well, winning three games in a row and having a chance to close the set within own serve. Reigning Wimbledon champ has not converted the setpoint though, and Azarenka leveled the score. Set was settled in tie-break, with multiple minibreaks, but it was Rybakina who held nerves till the end and grabbed first set on her account. Second one was a reminder of great service performance being displayed by Rybakina througout the whole tournament. She was really composed, showing the variety of skills with great deep strikes or well playing close to the net. The match has ended up after 1:43 hours with a score 7-6 6-3.
Aryna Sabalenka was a huge favorite against Magda Linette, who had a sensational run to the semifinal. Linette had nothing to lose there, and started the match really well, breaking Sabalenka's serve to love and moving up to 3-0 lead from the start. The world number 5 made up the gap, gaining the re-break and moving the set settlement into tie-break. Since then, Sabalenka raised up her game to the unbeatable level, as she won the tie-break 7-1 and continued has great performance in second set, breaking Linette twice and closing the match with a score 7-6 6-2 after just 95 minutes. It was a display of great hard-hitting and finesse shots from Sabalenka, but hats off for the Pole who at least made quite a fight in the first.
Saturday's final will be a big clash between the undoubtedly best players throughout whole the tournament. It's difficult to name any other player from, who could deserve the place in this tournament's final, as Rybakina showed the best tennis among the players from top half of the draw, same as Sabalenka who was undoubtedly the best player in the bottom half. Both players faced some challenging opponents on their road to the final, but made it in an impressive style. Sabalenka is still yet to lose any single set in the 2023 season, while Rybakina had some huge name to beat in almost every match in her draw, but only Danielle Collins managed to steal a one and only set from her in all the AO matches so far.