World number five Aryna Sabalenka defeated Marketa Vondrousova to advance to the semifinals of the Adelaide International on Friday, giving her preparations for the Australian Open a boost.
In spite of the hot conditions, the Belarussian defeated her Czech opponent 6-3, 7-5 in 1 hour and 34 minutes to maintain her strong late-season form from 2022, when she finished second at the WTA Finals.
The reward for the second seed is a matchup with either Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu or Russian world number nine Veronika Kudermetova in the fourth round.
Sabalenka, who has never won a Grand Slam, stated, “It was a tough match and she fought until the end and I was really happy I was able to win this match.”
I believe that the reason I play so well is that I keep my cool and feel at home here.
I have yet to drop a set. I hope to continue doing that.”
In the first set, Sabalenka broke for 3-2 and won the match with her 15th winner.
In the second set, Vondrousova took a 4-1 lead thanks to a double break. The Belarusians fought back, but the Belarusians regrouped and won the match.
In less than two weeks, the Australian Open will begin.
Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka defeated Australian Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (8/10), and 6-2 to advance to the men’s semifinals. Nishioka had already defeated Holger Rune, the 11th-ranked player in the world, in the previous round.
It brought Sebastian Korda of the United States into the semifinals, where he defeated Jannik Sinner of Italy 7-5, 6-1.
When top seed Novak Djokovic plays seventh seed Denis Shapovalov in an evening match, his quest for his 92nd career title and first in Adelaide since 2007 gets even more intense.
The Canadian has failed to defeat his Serbian opponent seven times before, the last time they met was in the Wimbledon semifinals in 2021.
The winner will play either Daniil Medvedev, who came in third or Karen Khachanov, a fellow Russian who came in eighth, for a spot in the final.
The winner of Friday’s match between Tunisian women’s top seed Ons Jabeur and Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk will play either Czech teenager Linda Noskova or two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka.
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