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Australian Open lookahead: Azarenka vs. Rybakina in semis

From the This morning's top headlines: Wednesday, Jan. 25 series

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 women’s semifinals

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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 women's semifinals at night. No. 5-seeded Aryna Sabalenka plays unseeded Magda Linette in the other. Now 33, 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 Jessica Pegula — en route to her first semifinal appearance in a Grand Slam tournament since the 2020 U.S. Open. Rybakina's path included victories against 2022 runner-up Danielle Collins and No. 1 Iga Swiatek. Rybakina beat Azarenka in straight sets in their only previous meeting. Sabalenka is 9-0 so far in 2023 and won both previous contests against Linette, including at 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: No. 4 Novak Djokovic beat No. 5 Andrey Rublev. 6-1, 6-2, 6-4; Tommy Paul beat Ben Shelton 7-6 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

THURSDAY'S FORECAST

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

STATS OF THE DAY

0-7 — Rublev's career record in Grand Slam quarterfinals after his loss to Djokovic.

29 — Number of previous Grand Slam singles appearances for Linette 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.”


https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Novak Djokovic has put aside some shaky early play to beat unseeded American Tommy Paul 7-5, 6-1, 6-2 and reach the Australian Open final. Djokovic will face Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title on Sunday. The winner will move up to No. 1 in the ATP rankings. Tsitsipas made it to his second Grand Slam final with a 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 semifinal victory over Karen Khachanov. The No. 3-seeded Tsitsipas had been 0-3 in semifinals at Melbourne Park. Djokovic is seeking his 10th Australian Open championship to extend his own men's record and a 22nd Grand Slam trophy overall to equal Rafael Nadal's mark.

Novak Djokovic has claimed his 10th Australian Open championship and 22nd Grand Slam title overall by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5). The victory in Sunday's final at Melbourne Park also allows Djokovic to return to No. 1 in the ATP rankings.

Coco Gauff and Emma Raducanu will go head to head in the second round of the Australian Open. The seventh-seeded Gauff is the 18-year-old American who reached the final of the French Open last year. She also won the title in Auckland earlier this month. Raducanu has been battling a left ankle injury. The 20-year-old British player has not gone past the second round in any Grand Slam event since she won the U.S. Open in 2021 as a teen. Defending men's champion Rafael Nadal plays Mackenzie McDonald on Wednesday, while Iga Swiatek, the top-seeded woman, plays Camila Osorio.

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina plays in her second final in the past three Grand Slam tournaments when she meets No. 5 Aryana Sabalenka for the Australian Open championship. They are two of the hardest-hitting players in tennis. Saturday's contest is the first Grand Slam final of Sabalenka's career. She is 10-0 in 2023, winning all 20 sets. Sabalenka has won all three previous matches she and Rybakina have played each other. All went to three sets. They last met in 2021. Jason Kubler and Rinky Hijikata will play Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski in the men's doubles final.

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