The first tiebreak said it all – Magda Lynette was down 7-1 and made no mistakes. Until then, it was toe-to-toe and it was anyone’s guess who would leave Rod Laver Arena. Appointment to see Elena Rybakinaon Saturday.
Aryna Sabalenka generally doesn’t shift in gear, as she primarily starts at full throttle and stays on her feet throughout the match. For Thursday’s semifinals, however, she was something else, something super cool or something else.
The reason for bringing it up in this moment may be that she has hit three times in three Som semi-finals. In the year She has won all 18 sets she has played in 2023 and may be one away from dropping one. Or it could simply be a manifestation of the newfound calmness she says she feels on court — when she starts her service call and then sends an ace before stopping to reset midway through the game.
Be that as it may, the fifth seed of Belarus carried out this clean bond Australian Open She then powered herself to a 7-6(1), 6-2 victory that would ensure her first major final appearance.
“I didn’t start well,” Sabalenka said. “Then I found my rhythm in the tie break and I started to believe in myself, I started to go for the shots. It was a lot better tennis from me in the parallel-break. I’m very happy to be able to get this win.”
Unseeded 30-year-old Lynette, who earned her place at the finals of the big tournament, saw her turn in a heavy hitter at Melbourne Park. Karolina Pliskova and Caroline Garcia bit the dust on her way and Sabalenka’s powerhouse performance packed a punch. The Pole’s defensive skills absorbed most of the grunts, allowing her footwork to redirect her depth to where she was needed, especially behind her back.
There were no holes in her game, which meant she was either going to find something in Sabalenka or push her to the next level. The odds were stacked against her opponent and the difference in body language before the match made for an interesting subplot. In the bowels of Rod Laver Arena, Sabalenka finished his warm-up with a Swiss ball and a loose and expected moment of truth in player form. Lynette entered with her head slightly bowed, staring straight ahead, tense.
On the court, the first exchanges do not correspond to this picture. Lynette began by breaking Sabalenka’s service game to love and then holding serve, at which point the latter won the only point and collected five unforced errors. Was it too loose? Was Lynette more focused than anxious? But Sabalenka held her nerve and found her range, breaking back to 2-2 before taking the match to the final.
She found her hunger in the second set, firing some winners down the line, pulling Lynette from the court with a one-two punch. Lynette tried everything to stop the inevitable, moving well and trying for a different favorite chip. She forced three break points and saved when she was down 4-1 and then lost her mind while serving to stay in the match.
Sabalenka tried to work too fast, tried to go too big at the expense of accuracy and dropped two game points on unforced errors. After Lynette’s capture, she sets out to serve the match, meeting another with her frighteningly quick forehands that put her on “good genetics.”
It was a fitting display for a game she cleaned up so well last year. This includes her services, which she wants to challenge. Rybakina, who beat a rebounding Victoria Azarenka. In the other semi-final.
“She’s an amazing player,” Sabalenka said of the Wimbledon champion. “She’s playing great tennis, very aggressive and she’s already won a grand slam so she has the experience to finally play. It will be great. I’m really looking forward to this final.”