Reigning champion Aryna Sabalenka continued her dominant run at the Australian Open, securing a place in the final by defeating Coco Gauff in the semifinals. Sabalenka, seeded second, triumphed 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 against the 2023 US Open winner, advancing to her second consecutive final in Melbourne without dropping a set.
In a thrilling encounter at Rod Laver Arena, Gauff faced an early setback, losing her serve at 4-2. Despite breaking back at 5-4 to force a tie-break, Sabalenka’s dominance prevailed, securing the first set in 56 minutes. The second set saw a tight battle, with both players holding serve until Sabalenka seized a crucial break point at 5-4, ultimately closing out the match after 102 minutes.
Sabalenka’s opponent in the final will be determined in the second semi-final between Dayana Yastremska and Zheng Qinwen. Sabalenka’s impressive performance marks her as the first woman since Serena Williams in 2016 and 2017 to reach consecutive Australian Open finals.
Reflecting on the match, Sabalenka acknowledged Gauff’s prowess, stating, “She’s a great player, always tough battles against her. I was just ready for anything tonight. I think that was the key.”
For Gauff, despite the loss, she expressed pride in her performance in Melbourne, noting the close nature of the match and her aggressive play compared to their previous encounter at the U.S. Open. Sabalenka’s steady play and ability to capitalize on Gauff’s mistakes contributed to her victory.
The final at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena awaits Sabalenka as she seeks to defend her Australian Open title against either Yastremska or Zheng.