Aryna Sabalenka is back in the final of Australian Open! The current Grand Slam champion, who has broadcast of all courts by ESPN on Star+defeated American tennis player Coco Gauff, just 19 years old, in the semifinal por 2 sets a 0 this Thursday (25).
The Belarusian, number 2 in the world, won the match at Rod Laver Arena in almost two hours, demonstrating, once again, a high level of tennis against the WTA number 4 in the game that many considered the “early final” of the Australian Open 2024. The two tennis players also decided the last US Open, when Gauff defeated Sabalenka to win her first women’s title. major.
The 1st semi-final of this edition of Happy Slam It started with the current champion flying around the court, scoring 7 consecutive points and breaking the American in the first service game to take a 2-0 lead. Then, Gauff “woke up” to the match, returned the break and left the contest very even.
The two tennis players showed a certain nervousness in the face of the pressure of the match and made some unforced errors. In the 6th game, Sabalenka took advantage of two double faults from Gauff and broke the American once again, making it 4-2. However, the 19-year-old tennis player reacted when the Belarusian served for the set and returned the break. Afterwards, Gauff once again broke the current champion and, for the first time in the split, came out ahead.
Then, it was the American’s turn to serve for the set and she took a 30-0 lead, but Sabalenka recovered impressively and took the tie to a tie-break. In the tiebreaker, Aryna played better and won 7-2, closing the 1st set after 56 minutes.
In the 2nd set, the semifinal remained balanced, but with the competitors serving better in the game. The first break of the partial only occurred in the 9th game, when Sabalenka grew against Gauff. Afterwards, the world number 2 confirmed her serve and won the match. 6 a 4.
The 2024 Australian Open semifinal was the 7th meeting between the Grand Slam champions on the WTA circuit. Even with the victory in Melbourne, Aryna Sabalenka still has a disadvantage against Coco Gauff. The 19-year-old American has 4 wins against 3 losses against the 25-year-old Belarusian. The duel in Happy Slam was 2nd in the rivalry in majors.
With the triumph over Gauff, Sabalenka now qualifies for the final and awaits the winner of the other semi-final between Qinwen Zheng and Dayana Yastremska. It will be the defending champion’s 3rd Grand Slam decision in the last 5 majors. Aryna also became only the third tennis player to reach consecutive Australian Open decisions without losing a single set since Happy Slam it started to be played by 128 players. Sabalenka joins legends Serena Williams (2016-2017) and Steffi Graf (1993-94 and 1988-89)
The post first appeared on www.espn.com.br