Dayana Yastremska achieved a historic feat by becoming the first qualifier since 1978 to advance to the semifinals of the Australian Open. Her remarkable journey unfolded with a convincing 6-3 6-4 victory over Czech teenager Linda Noskova.
Securing her eighth consecutive victory in Melbourne, the 93rd-ranked Yastremska distinguished herself as just the second qualifier in the Open Era to advance to the Grand Slam tournament’s semifinals, a feat previously achieved only by Christine Dorey in the 1978 edition. Moreover, the Ukrainian is now two wins away from emulating Emma Raducanu, who made history as the first qualifier to claim a major title with her triumph at the 2021 US Open.
Even though Yastremska currently holds a ranking just inside the Top 100, her success doesn’t come as a major surprise. During her teenage years, she was recognized as a highly-rated prospect and achieved a position within the world’s top 25 by the age of 19.
However, her trajectory faced a setback when she received a provisional ban in January 2021 due to a failed doping test. Despite this setback, Yastremska maintained her innocence and vehemently denied any wrongdoing. After six months, the suspension was lifted, as an independent tribunal accepted that her positive test resulted from contamination.
After playing three sets in all of her qualifying matches at the Australian Open, the 23-year-old Yastremska has dropped just one set in the main draw, defeating five opponents all ranked higher than her, including Grand Slam champions Victoria Azarenka and Marketa Vondrousova.
Next up for Yastremska will be the winner of the last remaining quarterfinal: seed No.12 Zheng Qinwen vs. Anna Kalinskaya. The other semifinal pair was determined on Tuesday: Aryna Sabalenka vs. Coco Gauff.