Linette stuns Pliskova, to face Sabalenka in Australian Open semifinals

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Magda Linette continues her dream run at the 2023 Australian Open with a victory over Karolina Pliskova. The Pole’s semifinal obstacle will be fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka, a player undefeated this season.

Magda Linette

Everyone expected world No.1 Iga Swiatek to be the leading representative of Poland this fortnight at Melbourne Park. Tennis gods had other plans. Polish world No.45 Magda Linette, who had never before been past the third round at a Grand Slam in 29 attempts, is through to the semifinals with a 6-3 7-5 victory over former top-ranked WTA player Karolina Pliskova.

The 30-year-old Linette got her serve broken in the opening game, but she immediately gained control and won six of the following eight games to win the first set. The second set went with serve until 5-5 when Linette earned a break in a two-minute game before serving out the milestone victory of her career.

In a quarterfinal clash between two players undefeated this season, Aryna Sabalenka increased her perfect 2023 winning streak to nine matches with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Donna Vekic. We thought that Vekic could produce an upset here, as she entered the match with a 5-1 head-to-head record against Sabalenka, but the Belarusian remains unstoppable this year, as she surged through all her matches without dropping a set.

The unseeded Vekic’s game was cracked by 13 double faults and disastrous 2/14 break point conversion rate, while Sabalenka converted five of 13 break opportunities she had.

The world No.5 Sabalenka is obviously a favorite against Linette, having never lost more than four games in their two career meetings. The Belarusian will try to advance to the final of a Grand Slam for the first time on her fourth attempt. Even though on paper Linette should be an easy opponent for her, we shouldn’t forget that the Pole eliminated four seeds so far at the tournament, including fourth seed Caroline Garcia.

In the other women’s singles semifinal, two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka will face reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

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