Elise Mertens beats American Davis and now meets former doubles partner Sabalenka
Jessica Pegula (3, crown3)
Victoria Azarenka (24, crown24)

Victoria Azarenka still has a chance at a third title at the Australian Open. The 33-year-old Belarusian, who was the best in Melbourne in 2012 and 2013, defeated the 5-year-younger American Jessica Pegula, the number 3 in the world, 6-4, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

Former number 1 Azarenka is currently listed 24th on the WTA ranking. She immediately set the tone by leading 3-0 in the 1st set. At 5-2 she missed 2 set balls, at 5-3 again on her own service. But with a break she still won the set: 6-4 in over 1 hour.

The 2nd set was again 2-0 for Azarenka, but Pegula was able to rebreak immediately. Which the Belarusian in turn answered with a break: 3-1. After that, not a single game gave up: 6-1 in more than 30 minutes.

To advance to the final, Azarenka must pass the Kazakh Elena Rybakina (WTA-25). The reigning Wimbledon champion won 6-2, 6-4 against the Latvian Jelena Ostapenko (WTA-17) earlier in the day.

Azarenka and Rybakina already faced each other once. At the Indian Wells tournament, the Kazakh was the better 6-3, 6-4 last year.

Azarenka meets Rybakina

Azarenka won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013. These are her only 2 grand slam titles to date. At the US Open, she was runner-up 3 times (in 2012, 2013 and 2020).

Never again since that time did she reach the last 4 in Australia. After giving birth at the end of December, Azarenka returned to the WTA Tour in 2017, but a controversial divorce initially bothered her.

Jessica Pegula reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne for the third year in a row, but she has never reached the last four of a grand slam tournament.

After the exit of No. 1 Iga Swiatek and No. 2 Ons Jabeur, Pegula was ranked highest on the table.

Tweets about the match:

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!

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