MELBOURNE: Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina cruised into her first Australian Open semi-final with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko on Tuesday.
The twenty second seed raced previous the previous French Open champion, seeded 17, in 1hr 19min on Rod Laver Enviornment and can meet both American Jessica Pegula or Belarusian Victoria Azarenka for a spot within the closing.
“I’m tremendous joyful to be the primary time within the semi-finals,” mentioned the Kazakh star. “It was an incredible ambiance.”
Rybakina had declared “she may beat anybody” after knocking out high seed Iga Swiatek in straight units on Sunday.
And he or she was quickest out of the blocks behind her huge serve, breaking Ostapenko instantly and hammering down three aces to succeed in 3-1.
She created one other break level at 30-40 when a sudden cloudburst halted the twenty second seed’s momentum.
The gamers scurried from Rod Laver Enviornment whereas the roof was closed and the water mopped up.
After a delay of just about half an hour, Ostapenko noticed off the fast hazard.
However she was powerless to forestall the aggressive Rybakina from capturing a second break two factors later.
Rybakina’s serving acquired her out of bother within the subsequent at 15-40 and closed out the opening set in 32 minutes
Ostapenko upped the facility on her groundstrokes at first of the second set, breaking for 2-0 with a scream.
However the calm Rybakina broke again and saved 4 extra break factors within the subsequent to stage at 2-2.
Rybakina struck once more in Ostapenko’s subsequent service recreation to place the end line firmly in sight.
At 6-5 serving for the match, the usually assured Russian-born Kazakh noticed two match factors saved earlier than her eleventh ace sealed her progress.
“After all, I used to be nervous, particularly within the final recreation however not as nervous as earlier than the match,” she mentioned. “So I’m tremendous joyful that I managed my feelings and I performed very well right now.”
Ostapenko had gained each their earlier encounters — the final at Eastbourne in 2021 — and was additionally showing in her first Australian Open quarter-final.
The 25-year-old has been working her method again to the highest after admitting she discovered it arduous to manage at 19 when her life was modified by profitable the French Open.
After knocking out Coco Gauff within the fourth spherical, she mentioned her confidence was again and she or he had “by no means doubted” she had the flexibility and drive to win one other Slam.
However Rybakina was unstoppable as she chases her second Grand Slam crown in six months after triumphing on the grass at Wimbledon final July.