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  5. Australian Open 2024: Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka thrashes Coco Gauff to enter final

Australian Open 2024: Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka thrashes Coco Gauff to enter final

The defending champion Aryna Sabalenka knocked out the US Open champion and the current world no.4 Coco Gauff by 7-6, 6-4 to enter the women's singles final where she will be facing China's top-ranked Qinwen Zheng on Saturday.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Updated on: January 25, 2024 20:39 IST
Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff
Image Source : AP Aryna Sabalenka vs Coco Gauff at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2024

Aryna Sabalenka stormed into the Australian Open 2024 women's singles after a dominating win over Coco Gauff on Thursday, January 25. The Belarus ace thrashed the US Open champion in straight sets 7-6, 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena and will be facing China's top-ranked Qinwen Zheng in the final on Saturday.

The 25-year-old defending champions faced her toughest challenge in the semifinal after early exits for tournament favourites Iga Swiatek and Elen Rybakina. But the US youngster was not able to end Sabalenka's sensational run at Melbourne Park despite taking the opening set to the wire.

Gauff, coming from her maiden Grand Slam glory in the US Open, enjoyed a smooth campaign without facing any seeded player until today. Coco famously defeated Sabalenka in the US Open final last year and enjoyed a head-to-head record with four wins to two. But the in-form Sabalenka showed no backing down with a dominant performance in front of a packed arena. 

Meanwhile, in the second semifinal, the world no.15 Qinwn Zheng also registered a dominant win against unseeded Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska. Zheng recorded a 6-4, 6-4 win and surprisingly faced no seeded player on her way to the women's singles final.

Zheng's previous best in Grand Slam tournaments came last year when she stormed into the quarterfinal of the US Open by defeating top-ten-seeded Ons Jabeur. She was defeated by Sabalenka in the quarterfinal and once again will enter the game as second favourites on Saturday.

In the men's singles, the defending champion Novak Djokovic is facing Italian youngster Jannik Sinner in the first semifinal on Friday while the world no.3 Daniil Medvedev clash against the world no.6 Alexander Zverev in the second game for the final.

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