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Australian Open: Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka will meet in the final

“I am very happy and proud to be in the final here for the first time”, rejoiced Elena Rybakina after her victory in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, Thursday, January 26. She dominated Belarusian Victoria Azarenka (7-6, 6-3), seeded number 24, and double winner in Melbourne (2012-2013).

Until then, the Kazakh of Russian origin (22e) had never made it past the third round of the Australian Major in three appearances. The powerful 23-year-old will compete for the title on Saturday January 28 at 9:30 a.m. (Paris time) against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (5e).

On the strength of her victory at Wimbledon in 2022, Rybakina approaches the final with serenity: “I have more experience now. I just want to come on the court and enjoy it. We’ll see how it goes: I’ll fight, I’ll do my best and I hope to win. »

Read also: Elena Rybakina, a coronation that crumples Wimbledon

First Grand Slam final for Sabalenka

In Melbourne, Sabalenka (5e) will play her first Grand Slam final, after dismissing the Polish Magda Linette in the semi-finals (7-6, 6-2). “I am very happy with this victory”said the Belarusian. “I didn’t start the match very well, but I found my rhythm from the tie-break, I gained confidence and I started to let go of my shots”she analyzed.

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During the last three editions of the Australian Major, Sabalenka’s journey had stopped in the round of 16. However, the 24-year-old right-hander has already played and won an Australian Open final: it was in 2021, in doubles – she was then associated with the Belgian Elise Mertens.

Will she be able to handle the pressure of the event? “Being in the final is an incredible experience. I hope it will help me for Saturday”slipped the one who expects a “great battle”, against Rybakina. Sabalenka has still not lost a single set during this season, which began with a title in Adelaide. With this constancy, she can afford to dream.

Read also: Novak Djokovic two games away from Rafael Nadal’s Grand Slam title record

The World with AFP

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