2023 Australian Open: Sabalenka Defeats Linette To Reach First-Ever Grand Slam Final
Aryna Sabalenka reached her first-ever Grand Slam final appearance after beating Magda Linette 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 in the Australian Open semi-final on Thursday.
Sabalenka, 24, defeated her Polish counterpart in a game that lasted just over one hour and 30 minutes.
The world number five showed her relentless power throughout the game after an enthralling first set which went to a tie break – before the Belarusian eased to victory 7-1.
She then dominated the second set, winning 6-2, to reach her maiden Grand Slam final.
Sabalenka will now face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in this year’s Australian Open final.
To get to the final Rybakina defeated Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 earlier on Thursday.
Commenting after reaching her first-ever Grand Slam final, Sabalenka said:“I’m super happy that I was able to get this win, she’s (Linette) an unbelievable player, she played really great tennis.
“I didn’t start really well and then in the tie-break I found my rhythm, started trusting myself, starting going for the shots. It was great tennis from me on the tie-break.
“I actually felt like I hit really slow balls today but I’ve got good genetics I guess.”
And when questioned on facing Rybakina in the final: “She’s (Rybakina) an amazing player, she’s playing great tennis, super aggressive, and she’s already got one Grand Slam so she has the experience of playing in a final.
“It’s going to be a great final, I’m really looking forward to it.”
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