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Tsitsipas, Khachanov, Rybakina, Azarenka reach Australian Open semifinals

By Jacob Akindele
25 January 2023   |   3:55 am
Two men and two women advanced to the semifinals on an action packed ninth day of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Kazakhstan’ Elena Rybakina defeated Jelena Ostapenko from Latvia 6/2, 6/4.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Two men and two women advanced to the semifinals on an action packed ninth day of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Kazakhstan’ Elena Rybakina defeated Jelena Ostapenko from Latvia 6/2, 6/4.

Russia’s Karen Khachanov booked his spot when America’s Sebastian Korda retired in the third set when his opponent was leading 7/6, 6/3, 3/0.

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece outplayed Czech Republic’s Jiri Lehecka 6/3, 7/6(2), 6/4, while Victoria Azarenka of Belarus defeated American Jessica Pegula 6/4, 6/1. All the matches were played at the Rod Laver Arena.

In the first set, Rybakina broke Ostapenko’s serve and held for hers to lead 3-1. While Ostapenko was serving with score at 30-40, rain halted play as the roof was drawn closed.

On resumption, Ostapenko lost the game, while Rybakina extended the lead to 5-1 and also took the eighth game for the set 6/2.

Ostapenko got an early service break, but lost the third game, while Rybakina saved four break points to level and also win two consecutive games to lead 4-2.

Games proceeded with serve and Rybakina delivered an ace to with the set 6/4 for the match and her first semifinal at the Australian Open.

Sebastian Korda won the toss and elected to receive. Khachanov took the first game at love and sped to a 5-2 lead. Korda took three consecutive games to level and the set ended with a tiebreak won by the Russian.

At 0-3 in the third, Sebastian retired.

Tsitsipas took the first set 6/3 in 36 minutes and saved five break points in the fourth game. Each player held serve to reach the tiebreak, which Tsitsipas clinched by seven points to two.  A single service break gave the Greek and third seed the set and match, 6/4.

In the interview on court by Jim Courtier, Tsitsipas announced his dream of winning the title and donating half of the prize money to build a school in Victoria, which he described as ‘the education state.’

His affection for Australia was because the country has the same mild weather, as his home country in the Mediterranean.

The remaining quarterfinal matches will be played today.