Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina beat Victoria Azarenka to reach her second
Grand Slam final at the Australian Open where she will play fifth seed Aryna
Sabalenka in a power battle on Saturday in Melbourne
Rybakina, 23, won 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 against Victoria Azarenka, ending the two-time
champion’s hopes of winning the title 10 years after her last triumph.
Sabalenka beat Poland’s Magda Linette to reach her first major final.
The 24-year-old Belarusian won 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 against her unseeded opponent.
Sabalenka was the heavy favourite to beat 30-year-old Linette, who had never been
past the third round of a Grand Slam event before, and grew in confidence as the
match wore on.
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After losing three times in major semi-finals, Sabalenka’s relief was evident after
securing her place in Saturday’s showpiece.
Rybakina, seeded 22nd, will contest her second major final after her triumph at the
All England Club last year.
“I’m super happy to be in the final and play one more time here,” she said.
“It was different conditions, I couldn’t play aggressive tennis and couldn’t go so much
for my shots but I was happy to win.
“I got a lot of experience from Wimbledon and I want to come on court [for the final]
and enjoy the moment.”