Australian Open lookahead: Women’s semifinals in Melbourne

Jan 24, 2023, 7:07 AM | Updated: 9:10 pm
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reacts after defeating Jessica Pegula of the U.S. in their quarterfina...

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reacts after defeating Jessica Pegula of the U.S. in their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

              Magda Linette of Poland celebrates after defeating Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
            
              Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan reacts after defeating Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
            
              Victoria Azarenka of Belarus reacts after defeating Jessica Pegula of the U.S. in their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — LOOKAHEAD TO THURSDAY

Victoria Azarenka continues her quest for a third Australian Open title a decade after her last championship at Melbourne Park when she plays Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in one of two night women’s semifinals. Unseeded Magda Linette plays No. 5-seeded Aryna Sabalenka in the other. The now 33-year-old Azarenka won the 2012 and 2013 titles in Australia but she has not been back to the final four since. Azarenka has beaten three Americans — 2020 Australian champion Sofia Kenin, Madison Keys and No. 3-seeded Jessica Pegula — en route to her first semifinal appearance in a Grand Slam tournament since the 2020 U.S. Open. Rybakina’s wins this year include last year’s finalist Danielle Collins and No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek. Rybakina beat Azarenka in straight sets in the third round of last year’s Indian Wells tournament in their only previous meeting. Sabalenka has beaten Linette in both previous matches they’ve played, including the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

WEDNESDAY’S KEY RESULTS

Women’s Quarterfinals: No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka beat Donna Vekic 6-3, 6-2; Magda Linette beat No. 30 Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 7-5.

Men’s Quarterfinals: Ben Shelton vs. Tommy Paul; No. 4 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 5 Andrey Rublev.

THURSDAY’S FORECAST

Partly cloudy with a high of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).

STAT OF THE DAY

29: number of previous Grand Slam singles tournaments Linette had played without advancing past the third round.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“All through my life I’ve been taking mistakes and losses very personally, so I had to disconnect those two things. It was really difficult, because I felt a lot of times that the misses, the mistakes, were defining me.” Linette on her continuing “emotional management” to deal with her life issues on and off the court.

___

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Australian Open lookahead: Women’s semifinals in Melbourne