Australian Open: Kichenok-Ostapenko advance into women’s doubles final
MELBOURNE — Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia won two consecutive come-from-behind sets at the Australian Open to reach their first Grand Slam women’s doubles final on Friday.
No.11 seeds Kichenok and Ostapenko upset No.4 seeds and reigning US Open champions Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe 7-5, 7-5 in their semifinal showdown at Margaret Court Arena.
Notably, both Kichenok and Ostapenko have won Grand Slam titles in other disciplines. Ostapenko famously stormed to the 2017 Roland Garros singles title as an unseeded player, while Kichenok won the mixed doubles title with Mate Pavic at Wimbledon last year, according to WTA.
Kichenok and Ostapenko will now take on No.2 seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Elise Mertens in the final.
Mertens is going for her second Australian Open women’s doubles title (she teamed with Aryna Sabalenka to triumph in 2021), while Hsieh has already won mixed doubles title alongside Jan Zielinski earlier in the day.
Australian Open: Sinner stuns Djokovic to reach first Grand Slam final
MELBOURNE — Jannik Sinner recorded a dominant win against 10-time champion Novak Djokovic to reach his first Grand Slam final, scuttling Serbian’s bid for a record-extending 11th Australian Open in the semifinals on Friday.
The youngest man to reach a final at Melbourne Park since 2008, the 22-year-old Italian registered a stunning 6-1, 6-2, 6-7(6-8), 6-3 triumph at Rod Laver Arena, ending Djokovic’s 33-match Melbourne winning streak and handing him his first Australian Open defeat since 2018.
“It was a very, very tough match. I started off really well. For two sets, I felt like he was not feeling that great on court so I just tried to keep pushing. Then in the third set I had match point and I missed the forehand, but this is tennis. I just tried to be ready also for the next set, which I started off really well. And obviously the atmosphere was so great to play here,” Sinner said in his on-court interview.
Only sixth months ago, world No.1 Djokovic had few difficulties keeping the Italian contained in the Wimbledon semifinals, but a pair of confidence-boosting wins from three subsequent encounters had invigorated Sinner’s belief, AusOpen reports.
In just his second Grand Slam semifinal, Sinner paid no attention to precedent and after three hours and 23 minutes handed Djokovic his first loss against a top-five opponent at Melbourne Park since the Serb fell to Roger Federer in the fourth round in 2007.
Sinner will meet either third seed Daniil Medvedev or sixth seed Alexander Zverev for his maiden major trophy on Sunday.
“The confidence from the end of last year has for sure kept the belief that I can play against the best players in the world. I’m really happy that I can play Sunday my first final. Let’s see how it goes. But I’m really happy, I’ll come here with a smile and I’ll try my best,” the Italian said.
Despite the defeat, Djokovic will remain No. 1 in the ATP Rankings. Sinner could rise to a career-high of No. 3 if he wins his first major title and Daniil Medvedev loses to Alexander Zverev in Friday’s second semifinal.
Australian Open: Hsieh-Zielinski clinch first major mixed doubles title
MELBOURNE — In the first championship match between two top-four seeded teams at Melbourne Park in 23 years, Hsieh Su-wei and Jan Zielinski emerged triumphant in the mixed doubles event.
The No.3 seeds fought past second seeds American Desirae Krawczyk and Brit Neal Skupski, 6-7(5-7), 6-4, 11-9 in an enthralling and high-quality final at Rod Laver Arena.
Hsieh and Zielinski saved a championship point in a high-pressure match tiebreak, before sealing victory in just under two hours.
It is a first major mixed doubles title for both 38-year-old Hsieh and 27-year-old Zielinski, who fought back from a 2-4 deficit in the second set and then almost squandered a 7-4 advantage in a thrilling match tiebreak, Aus Open reports.
Their victory sees Hsieh become the first player from Chinese Taipei to win an Australian Open mixed doubles title, while Zielinski is the first Polish player in history to capture a major mixed doubles crown.
Hsieh has the chance to win another Australian Open title on Sunday, when she competes in the women’s doubles final alongside Belgium’s Elise Mertens.