Ruthless Rybakina rolls into Australian Open semi-finals

Reuters |
Jan 24, 2023 09:18 AM IST

Rybakina, who ousted favourite Iga Swiatek in the fourth round, broke straight back, however, and prevailed in an arm-wrestle of a second set to book a meeting with American Jessica Pegula or twice Melbourne Park champion Victoria Azarenka.

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina became the first player into the Australian Open semi-finals after outmuscling Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-4 in a one-sided contest on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

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/Aaron Favila)(AP)
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/Aaron Favila)(AP)

The Russian-born Kazakh looked sharp from the start and only a 25-minute delay to close the stadium roof against a passing shower prevented her from wrapping up the opening set within a half-an-hour of arriving on court.

Former French Open champion Ostapenko looked unable to cope with big-serving Rybakina's pace and power in the opening stanza but ramped up her own fierce groundstrokes to break for a 2-0 lead at the start of the second.

Rybakina, who ousted favourite Iga Swiatek in the fourth round, broke straight back, however, and prevailed in an arm-wrestle of a second set to book a meeting with American Jessica Pegula or twice Melbourne Park champion Victoria Azarenka.

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