Australian Open: Zheng Qinwen becomes the fourth chinese women player to end Grand Slam semis
MELBOURNE — Zheng Qinwen, the 12th seed from China, etched her name into the annals of tennis history, overcoming a shaky start against the unseeded Anna Kalinskaya 6-7(4) 6-3 6-1, to secure her spot in the first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open 2024.
The match began with a stutter for Zheng, as a series of unforced errors in the first set hinted at the nerves that can accompany such monumental occasions. Kalinskaya, ranked 75th and appearing in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, seized the opportunity to break back after an early break by Zheng. The set unfolded with exchanged breaks, but it was Kalinskaya who clinched the tiebreak, taking the lead 7-4.
For a set and a half, the spotlight seemed a bit too bright for Zheng, who, despite entering the match as the favorite, found herself making uncharacteristic mistakes. The tension in the air dissipated midway through the second set, as if a switch had been flipped within the 21-year-old’s game.
Suddenly, Zheng’s serve found its rhythm, and her groundstrokes flowed with a newfound confidence. Breaking Kalinskaya at a crucial moment, she unleashed her potential, finishing the set with an ace down the middle. The momentum continued into the third set, where Zheng’s game reached its zenith.
Despite a medical timeout taken by Kalinskaya to address her right hip, Zheng remained unfazed. A backhand return winner gave her the pivotal break for a 2-1 lead, and a subsequent double break left her firmly in control at 4-1. Kalinskaya, grappling to find answers, could only watch as Zheng powered her way to a 5-1 advantage.
In a final flourish, Zheng showcased her prowess with three consecutive aces and thunderous returns, closing out the match in style. The victory not only secured Zheng’s place in the Grand Slam semifinal but also propelled her into the world’s top 10 when the rankings would be updated on Monday.
With this triumph, Zheng Qinwen joined the ranks of esteemed Chinese women in tennis history, becoming the fourth from her country to reach a Grand Slam semifinal. Her predecessors, Zheng Jie, Li Na (Australian Open champion in 2014), and Peng Shuai, paved the way for her, and now, Zheng Qinwen is poised to make her own mark on the grand stage of international tennis.
Australian Open: Medvedev beats Hurkacz in 5-setter to reach semis
MELBOURNE — Daniil Medvedev has soared into the Australian Open men’s singles semifinals with a 7-6(7-4), 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 victory over ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz on Wednesday.
The third seed placed 43 winners against Hurkacz to secure the win in just under four hours, battling through warm conditions at Rod Laver Arena.
The win advances the 2021 US Open champion to the semifinal stage of a major for the eighth time, and third at Melbourne Park.
The 27-year-old Medvedev will next play the victor of the quarterfinal between second seed Carlos Alcaraz and sixth seed Alexander Zverev for a berth in his third Australian Open men’s singles final.
Of active players, only Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have reached three or more AO men’s singles finals.
With Medvedev’s passage to the semifinals, three of the top four seeds are through to that last-four stage in the men’s singles draw: top seed Novak Djokovic, third seed Medvedev and fourth seed Jannik Sinner.
Second seed Alcaraz could make it four with a victory against Zverev on Wednesday evening.
Australian Open: Qualifier Yastremska ousts Noskova to reach semifinals
MELBOURNE — Dayana Yastremska’s dream run continues as the Ukrainian defeated Czech teenager Linda Noskova on Wednesday to become the first qualifier in 45 years to reach the Australian Open semifinals.
The 23-year-old Ukrainian scored her eighth win in Melbourne in the last three weeks by beating 19-year-old Noskova 6-3, 6-4 in an all-unseeded quarterfinal in Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday to reach the penultimate round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
The world No.93 was impressive from the off, maintaining a steely focus and aggression throughout a victory to become just the second qualifier after Christine Dorey at Australian Open 1978 to progress to the last four at Melbourne Park.
The one-hour, 18-minute triumph marked Yastremska’s eighth straight triumph at Melbourne Park and made her just the third Ukrainian after Elina Svitolina and Andrei Medvedev to reach a major semifinal.
She will face either 12th seed Zheng Qinwen or unseeded Anna Kalinskaya for a place in her first Grand Slam final.