Sabalenka storms past Azarenka to set up Aus Open final rematch

WORLD number two Aryna Sabalenka will begin her lead-up preparation to defending her Australian Open crown by taking on the player she beat in last year’s major final, in the Brisbane International decider tomorrow. The top seed at the WTA 500 event knocked off Victoria Azarenka in straight sets 6-4 6-2, and will face Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in tomorrow’s trophy.

The Belarusian Grand Slam winner was pleased with her performance against a fellow major champion, not dropping a service game in the one-hour and 29-minute semi-final.

“I’m super happy to be in the final,” Sabalenka said post-match.

“I’ll do my best tomorrow to make sure I leave with the trophy. It’s an amazing tournament, an amazing place and I’ve got amazing support here.”

Sabalenka served 10 aces and won 78 and 50 per cent of her first and second serve points to take control on her serve and save all three break points. By comparison, Azarenka could not meet the heights of her huge service performance against Jelena Ostapenko, winning 68 and 42 per cent of her first and second serves, only producing three aces and being broken three times.

The Belarusian will set her sights on Rybakina in the decider which will be a repeat of the Australian Open final that the former won in three sets.

“I love matches against Elena. It’s always high qualities matches,” Sabalenka said.

“I hope it’s going to be a great battle tomorrow, I’m really looking forward to the match.”

Rybakina booked her place in the decider with a comprehensive 6-3 6-4 win over Czech young gun, Linda Noskova. The second seed and world number four served eight aces and won 80 and 54 per cent of her first and second serve points in the 63-minute match.

In total it was a strong performance from Rybakina who saved all four break points, while breaking the 19-year-old three times. She only committed 10 unforced errors and hit 26 winners throughout the contest.


Defending champion Coco Gauff will lineup in the 2024 ASB Classic final in Auckland after cruising past compatriot Emma Navarro in straight sets. The 19-year-old won 6-3 6-1 to book her place in the final, making it nine consecutive wins at the tournament without dropping a set.

In the other semi-final, Elina Svitolina came from a set down to defeat China’s Xiyu Wang in three sets, 2-6 6-4 6-3 to reach the decider. The Ukrainian second seed needed two hours and 23 minutes to get it done but was able to finish strongly and secure the victory.

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