Unseeded Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine is through to her first Premier-level final at the Adelaide International, where she’s face world No.1 Australian Ashleigh Barty.
Bringing to actual matches the progress she’s made during the preseason with new coach Sascha Bajin, Yastremska went through the first set against sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka without facing a break point, while a crucial break in the fifth game gave her the necessary lead. Early in the second set of the semifinal, the Ukrainian world No.24 continued where she left off, building a 3-1 lead, but then she started losing focus as tiredness crept in and Sabalenka leveled the set. On two occasions Yastremska fought back from being two points from a decider, but the 19-year-old managed to earn a tiebreak and secured victory on her third match point, 6-4 7-6(4).
Yastremska credited a chat with her coach for the required boost of energy that helped her push through, while she also said that Sabalenka’s power game actually perfectly suits her:
I feel comfortable playing with her. She’s aggressive. Her style is pretty similar to mine, so I feel very comfortable playing with her, and I like the way she hit the balls. It feels, like, very energetic, but for me, it’s pretty comfortable.
In the second semifinal on Friday, the top-seeded Barty kept the home crowd on their toes as she lost the first set to in-form American Danielle Collins in just 29 minutes, but then recovered by brilliantly winning the second set as the packed stadium ecstatically cheered for her. The Australian then won a tense deciding set, helped by 80% percentage of points won on first serve, including seven aces to Collins’ zero en route to a 3-6 6-1 7-6(5) victory.
The 2020 Adelaide International final will be the second career meeting between Barty and Yastremska. They faced each other in the second round of the 2019 Miami Open and Barty won 6-4 6-1.