Sabalenka and Coco Gauff was the first semifinal of the night. It was high-quality tennis, and Gauff had an opportunity to take the first set when serving 6-5. However, Sabalenka's relentless power prevailed. She won the match in straight sets 7-6, 6-4.
After the match, Gauff was understandably disappointed but pointed out that she is on the right path in her journey as a professional tennis player. Meanwhile, Sabaenka has been gracious but fierce in her desire to capture her second straight Australian Open. Women's tennis is so deep with competitive players that Sabalenka would join Iga Swiatek (French Open 2022, 2023) as the only current player on tour to win back-to-back Grand Slams.
Aryna Sabalenka will face Qinwen Zheng
The second semifinal was also a two set affair between Ukrainian qualifier Dayana Yastremska and China's Qinweng Zheng. Prior to this match, Yastremska spent over 14 hours on the court through eight matches (three qualifying and five tournament matches).
Zheng showed her grit and athleticism as Yastremska continued her strategy of striking the ball hard and flat. Yastremska, ranked 93rd, required a medical timeout during the first set with an abdominal issue that, according to the ESPN announcers, was believed to be a preexisting issue before the tournament.
Yastremska fought hard but ultimately lost the match 4-6, 4-6 to Zheng. Chinese flags were seen everywhere in Rod Laver Arena as Zheng punched her ticket to her first career Grand Slam final and is expected to break into the Top 10 when the new rankings come out next week. Despite the match not having the big names expected from that side of the draw, it was entertaining and hard-hitting.
Zheng has not faced a Top 50 player at the Australian Open which is one of the freasons that Aryna Sabalenka is the odds-on favorite to win the title.