The first person who booked her spot for tomorrow night’s Main Event in the women’s singles draw goes to Elena Rybakina from Kazakhstan. She and Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) both fired off well on the page before Azarenka made the first move when it comes to the overall lead. However, Rybakina showed tremendous fight that went all the way into the tiebreak of the opening set, as well as the patience needed to the get the job done where she ticked off all these two boxes to wrap up this 1st semi-final tie.
The final score here at Rod Laver Arena was 7-6 (7-4 tiebreaker) & 6-3.
Great to see Azarenka return to the Australian Open knockout rounds for the first time in several years. The way she gone ahead earlier in the first set, plus the fightback later on to keep her in contention has been good to watch that threw the pressure back at Rybakina. But she just couldn’t arrest her & finish it off her way past the tiebreak, then Azarenka struggled to keep up to Rybakina for most of the 2nd stage before she was eliminated from the last 4. We would’ve liked to see her go all the way for tomorrow’s final also for the first time in a nearly a decade, especially when she’s now a mother of one. Sadly, it’s just wasn’t her time last night when conceding defeat to one of the elite rising stars at present.
And hats off to Elena Rybakina who is now set for her 2nd grand slam singles final appearance tomorrow, having won Wimbledon l back in July last year. That response when Azarenka led briefly in the early stages of the first set was unbelievable. She never gave up along the way with patience before not only did it pay off with the opening set lead, but also the straight sets win when Rybakina went on to execute an easy finish of this match-up. How good! As Rybakina has these strengths in her arsenal that would hopefully help her take home the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy tomorrow night.