April 22, 2024
MyNewsGh

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Women’s second seed Aryna Sabalenka achieved double delight when she reached the Australian Open final by avenging her defeat to Coco Gauff in last year’s US Open final.

The Belarusian produced a fine performance to secure a 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 straight sets win over American fourth seed Gauff in a tense semi-final.

The sense of occasion affected both players as they made a number of avoidable, unforced errors in the first set with six breaks.

Gauff never recovered from her early, error-strewn performance

While Sabalenka made a quick recovery, her American opponent could not keep up and the Belarussian took full advantage in the second set.

“I think I was able to focus on myself and I was prepared for her moving really good and putting every ball back,” said Sabalenka.

“I had to be ready to make an extra shot and I was ready for tonight.”

At the end of the contest, Gauff admitted she was second best.

“It was a tough match for me,” said Gauff, who looked close to tears while she left Rod Laver Arena.

“Overall it was a positive tournament. I had chances in both sets, but she played better. I think it just came down to a couple of points and that’s tennis.”Sabalenka will face Zheng Qinwen or Dayana Yastremska in Saturday’s final.

Chinese 12th seed Zheng and Ukrainian qualifier Yastremska contest the second semi-final at Melbourne Park later on Thursday.

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