Elena Rybakina beats Victoria Azarenka in straight sets to reach Australian Open final
The huge-hitting Rybakina has now made two of the last three grand slam finals after her victorious Wimbledon run last summer and, at just 23 years of age, is likely to be a force on the WTA Tour for many years to come.
When everything clicks, Rybakina’s game is almost unstoppable and a marvel to watch. Her ferocious serve and booming groundstrokes allow her to dictate points with ease, so long as she can maintain the consistency to go with the power.
The momentum swung back and forth in the opening set and the more experienced Azarenka looked as though she had the upper hand going into the tie break, but Rybakina found her serve when she needed it most to take a crucial lead.
The second set was a somewhat more straightforward affair, as Rybakina broke Azarenka three times en route to securing a place in her second grand slam final.
“I’m super happy and proud, with my team also because without them it would be difficult to be here,” Rybakina said in her post-match interview. “And really thank you [the crowd] a lot because it’s an incredible atmosphere. I’m super happy to be in the final and play one more time here.
“I’ve got a little bit of experience from Wimbledon, and I want to come on court and enjoy the moment and atmosphere because it’s amazing to play in front of you guys. We’ll see how it’s going to go – for sure, I’ll try my best. I’ll fight and, hopefully, I’m going to win.”
More to follow…