The winner of the 2023 Australian Open in women’s singles will not be an American.
Jessica Pegula, seeded No. 3 and top left American in both women’s and men’s singles, was defeated on Tuesday by 24th seed Victoria Azarenka. It was a 97-minute straight set win as Azarenka won 6-4, 6-1.
From the very beginning it was clear that Pegula would not survive the Azarenka vintage show. In just 12 minutes, she took a 3-0 lead over Pegula, who struggled for 10 minutes in the next game only to take her first win. This seemed to energize Pegula, who saved two set points to make it 5-4 in the first set. Unfortunately, this was the only big burst of energy we saw from Pegula. Azarenka took the first set and then won six of the next seven games, earning herself a place in the semi-finals.
Not that Azarenka is a young upstart who has never shown such a level of play. She is a 30-year-old former world No. 1 who has achieved the most success of her career at the Australian Open. She won the tournament in 2012 and again in 2013, and has spent the last few years trying to get back into such hardcore tennis. Although her dominance over Pegula was unexpected, it is certainly not surprising. And now, for the first time in 10 years, she is back in the Final Four.
Sebastian Korda’s dream race ends in quarter-finals
It was an exceptional result for No. 29 Sebastian Kord, but the American’s Aussie Open dreams came to an end on Tuesday when he had to pull out of the quarter-final against No. 18 seed Karen Khachanov.
Korda, who is only 22 years old, fought hard in the first set but lost 7-5 in a tiebreak. It’s as tough as it gets because in the second set, he felt something in his wrist after hitting the ball incorrectly from the right. The shoes came out and Korda tried to play with the wrist band, but it was clear he wasn’t playing as well as he did in the first set.
After Khachanov took a 3-0 lead in the third set, Korday was in too much pain to continue. After the match, Korda said that he could barely hold his racket when he landed forehands, which made volleying nearly impossible.
Runs like Korda’s are one of the most exciting features of any Grand Slam tournament. To see a young player get inspired and go into a two-week frenzy playing the best tennis of his life. I hope for Korda this week and a half in Melbourne was just fun, a tiny bite at the start of the meal to prepare you for what’s to come. Korda has both great talent and an impressive pedigree – his father Piotr won the Australian Open in 1998 – so we absolutely didn’t see him last in those later Grand Slam rounds.
Jubilant Tsitsipas Advances to Semi-Finals
On Tuesday, no one was happier than Stefanos Tsitsipas. The 24-year-old Greek slipped into the semi-finals in Melbourne with a relatively undramatic 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-4 victory over unseeded Czech Jiří Lehecká.
“Relatively” is the key word, because he almost ruined everything just a few minutes before the victory.
Tsitsipas, who was leading two sets and only two games away from winning the match, just saw Leheka hit an ace right next to him. Almost immediately the ball bounced back to him and he hit it in frustration. But at that moment the boy with the ball was trying to follow the ball to grab it. The ball He almost hit the ball, which would have led to the disqualification of Tsitsipas from the tournament.
It’s “almost” forever. Sparing this close encounter, Tsitsipas completed his win and then invited Australian actress Margot Robbie to watch him play in the semi-finals. Shoot Steph!
Rybakina turned over Ostapenko and advanced to the semifinals
No. 22 seed Elena Rybakina is heading to her first Australian Open semi-final. She beat No. 17 Elena Ostapenko 6:2, 6:4 in just 79 minutes. Ostapenko had several chances to gain a foothold in the match, but her biggest failure was break points. Both she and Rybakina faced eight break points, but Ostapenko only managed one and Rybakina four. In a match that ends 6-4 tied in the final set, those lost chances matter a lot.
Anyone surprised by Rybakina’s performance at the Australian Open hasn’t been following her lately. She won her first Grand Slam last year when she won Wimbledon, but since no ranking points were awarded, Rybakina’s world rankings (and subsequent tournament seedings) were largely unaffected. But we know she can win a Grand Slam and now she’s only two matches away for the second time in seven months.
What to watch on the 10th day?
On Wednesday, the last two semi-final matches will be decided. When two Americans face each other (Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul), we know that at least one of them will make it to the semi-finals.
But. 30 Karolina Pliskova vs. Magda Lynette
No. 5 Arina Sobolenko vs. Donna Vekic
Ben Shelton vs. Tommy Paul
No. 4 Novak Djokovic vs. №5 Andrey Rublev