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Tsitsipas powers into semis

MELBOURNE: Stefanos Tsitsipas closed in on a primary Grand Slam identify by way of attaining the Australian Open semi-finals on Tuesday in spectacular type, as Victoria Azarenka additionally powered into the remaining 4. Tsitsipas used to be a powerful 6-3, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 winner over unseeded Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic and faces Karen Khachanov subsequent.

The 24-year-old Tsitsipas is the best possible ultimate seed left at 3 and with Melbourne’s massive Greek neighborhood roaring him on, his identify rate is accumulating tempo. “I’m feeling nice with my tennis. I don’t assume I felt so excellent in a very long time,” mentioned Tsitsipas, after making the Australian Open semi-finals for a fourth time. “I’m a distinct participant, taking part in other. My mentality is other.”

Tsitsipas, who will develop into global primary must he win the identify, used to be just about in regulate all through in opposition to the 71st-ranked Lehecka. However he did lose his cool at one level within the 3rd set, smacking the ball into the wall after dropping some extent as a ball boy went to assemble it within reach. “What I did, for sure I’m now not satisfied about that. I shouldn’t have executed it,” Tsitsipas mentioned concerning the incident.

The opposite quarterfinal at Rod Laver Area between Russia’s Khachanov and Sebastian Korda were warming up well till the American harm his wrist. The 18th seed went via when Korda retired within the 3rd set, down 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 3-0. The 22-year-old Korda, who were making an attempt to emulate his father Petr’s Australian Open victory in 1998, mentioned afterwards that he may slightly cling the racquet.

He mentioned he first felt the harm whilst taking part in the Adelaide World this month, the place he made the general and compelled a championship level sooner than being crushed by way of Novak Djokovic. But it surely had now not him within the opening 4 rounds at Melbourne Park till he hit a go back in the second one set. “Volleying used to be nearly unimaginable for me, so it used to be slightly tricky,” he mentioned. For Khachanov this is a 2d consecutive Grand Slam semifinal, having reached the remaining 4 on the 2022 US Open.

9-time Melbourne champion Djokovic remains to be at the scene, with a quarterfinal in opposition to Russian 5th seed Andrey Rublev on Wednesday. The opposite quarterfinal is an all-American conflict between Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul.

‘It’s my weapon’

Azarenka is again within the remaining 4 in Melbourne for the primary time since she received the match in 2013 and can face big-serving Elena Rybakina. The Belarusian Azarenka, who additionally triumphed in 2012, secured an outstanding straight-sets victory over Jessica Pegula. 3rd seed Pegula used to be hotly tipped to win the identify however the American merely had no solutions to Azarenka’s pounding forehand groundstrokes.

The 33-year-old Azarenka rolled again the years in an incredibly one-sided quarterfinal to triumph 6-4, 6-1. “Neatly, it hurts to overcome her as a result of I all the time need her to do smartly,” the twenty fourth seed mentioned of Pegula, a detailed buddy and apply spouse. Requested how her younger son Leo would obtain his mum’s newest success, Azarenka mentioned: “He’s extra apprehensive about his soccer and once we’re going to play once more. “He for sure needs his mum to be house.”

Leo must wait no less than a couple of extra days as a result of Azarenka faces Moscow-born Kazakh Rybakina on Thursday for a spot within the ultimate. Rybakina blasted her approach into the semi-finals with a ruthless 6-2, 6-4 win over Jelena Ostapenko. The 23-year-old Rybakina despatched down 11 aces to blow former French Open champion Ostapenko off court docket in 79 mins. The twenty second seed has blasted 35 aces up to now, greater than every other girl on the match. Ominously, she mentioned her serve is healthier now than when she received Wimbledon remaining yr. “I won much more energy. It’s my weapon at the court docket and naturally we’re seeking to paintings on it,” she mentioned. – AFP

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