MELBOURNE : Aryna Sabalenka soared into the first Australian Open semifinal of her career with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Croatian Donna Vekic in the quarterfinal here on Wednesday.
Sabalenka, who had never gone beyond the fourth round of the Grand Slam before this year, is yet to drop a set in Melbourne as she extended her unbeaten run to nine matches to start the season. She flipped the script of her career head-to-head against Vekic with the 1 hour, 49-minute victory, beating the Croatian for just the second time in seven career meetings.
Not only is Sabalenka yet to lose a set at this Australian Open, but she also has yet to play a three-setter in 2023. She's won all nine matches she's played in straight sets and has only dropped 26 games in 10 sets so far here in the tournament.
It's the 24-year-old's fourth career Grand Slam semifinal, and she'll seek to reach her first major singles final when she takes of surprise package Magda Linette of Poland, who upset No.30 seed Karolina Pliskova earlier in the day on Wednesday.
Linette extended her career-best run through a Grand Slam event at the Australian Open on Wednesday, upsetting former World No.1 Pliskova 6-3, 7-5 to reach the first major semifinal of her career.
She became the third Polish woman in seven years, after world No.1 Iga Swiatek and Agnieszka Radwanska to reach an Australian Open semifinal. The Pole is assured of a new career-best ranking of world No.22, following her maiden major semifinal.
Linette will take on World No.5 Sabalenka in the last four. The winner will reach her first Grand Slam final. Sabalenka has won both of their previous meetings in straight sets.
Though Sablenka is 0-3 in her career in Grand Slam semifinals to date, but she will be a heavy favourite against Linette on form and in recent history.