Australian Open LIVE: Aryna Sabalenka vs Magda Linette latest updates after Elena Rybakina wins

Follow live reaction from the Australian Open as Aryna Sabalenka surged into the women’s final with a 7-6(1) 6-2 win over unseeded Pole Magda Linette to extend the red-hot Belarusian's unbeaten start to the year and book a clash with Elena Rybakina.

Adelaide champion Sabalenka has not dropped a set en route to 10 wins in 2023 and had failed to get over the semi-final hurdle on three previous occasions at grand slams but was not to be denied this time, as she raced ahead 4-1 and saved three breakpoints to close out the contest with a forehand winner.

Up next for Sabalenka is Russian-born Kazakh Rybakina, who defeated Victoria Azarenka to reach her second grand slam final. The 23-year-old has shown the same form that carried her to a maiden major title on the lawns of SW19 last summer, using her big serve and groundstrokes to overpower opponents including world number one Iga Swiatek.

Elsewhere, further controversy is surrounding Novak Djokovic in Australia after his father, Srdjan Djokovic, was filmed posing for pictures with a group of Vladimir Putin supporters on Wednesday. Djokovic’s win over the Russian player Andrey Rublev was followed by a showing of support for Russia on the steps of the Rod Laver Arena.

Follow live updates and scores from the Australian Open below

Australian Open 2023 latest scores and updates

  • Wimbledon champion Rybakina defeats two-time winner Azarenka 7-6 6-3 in first semi-final

  • Aryna Sabalenka defeats Magda Linette 7-6 6-2 to join Rybakina in Saturday’s women’s final

  • Novak Djokovic’s father filmed posing with Vladimir Putin supporters at Australian Open

Elena Rybakina grinds down Victoria Azarenka to set up Australian Open final against Aryna Sabalenka

12:57 , Michael Jones

The semi-finals of the Australian Open brought with it an unusual sight. After a typically assured start, Elena Rybakina was becoming flustered and agitated by the returns of Victoria Azarenka, whose experience in the heat of battle was starting to scratch away at the Wimbledon champion’s cool and collected facade.

Yet it only lasted for a moment, as Rybakina regathered her composure, picked up her weapons, and ground down Azarenka’s resurgent game. In what was the two-time Australian Open champion’s first semi-final in Melbourne since her last title in 2013, Azarenka was eventually taken apart by Rybakina’s aggressive returns and put away by her dominant serve, as the momentum of a nervy and rather unsettled semi-final finally swung in the 23-year-old’s direction.

It means Rybakina is into her second grand slam final in six months and after starting the tournament shunted out onto Court 13, there will be no denying her status if she becomes a two-time champion on Saturday. She will face the fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka, who is through to her first grand slam final after defeating Magda Linette 7-6 6-2. It extends Sabalenka’s run to 10 wins in a row to start the year, where she is yet to drop a set.

Elena Rybakina grinds down Victoria Azarenka to set up Aryna Sabalenka final

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 2-6 Aryna Sabalenka* - Game, set and match!

12:54 , Michael Jones

Sabalenka also spoke about what it will be like to face the Wimbledon champion in the final. She said:

“[Elena Rybakina is] an amazing player, she’s playing great tennis, super aggressive, and she’s already got one Grand Slam so she has the experience of playing in a final.

“It’s going to be a great final, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 2-6 Aryna Sabalenka* - Game, set and match!

12:51 , Michael Jones

More from Sabalenka: “Being in a final at this kind of tournament is amazing, to feel this atmosphere, to play on this court.

“That was a great experience for me and I hope its going to help me on Saturday.”

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 2-6 Aryna Sabalenka* - Game, set and match!

12:41 , Michael Jones

Reaction from Aryna Sabalenka: “I’m super happy that I was able to get this win, she’s an unbelievable player, she played really great tennis.

“I didn’t start really well and then in the tie-break I found my rhythm, started trusting myself, starting going for the shots. It was great tennis from me on the tie-break.

“I actually felt like I hit really slow balls today but I’ve got good genetics I guess.”

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 2-6 Aryna Sabalenka* - Game, set and match!

12:39 , Michael Jones

Aryna Sabalenka had lost her previous three Grand Slam semi-finals before this match but now has reached her first ever final.

She began today full of nerves which would have been compounded after she was broken in the opening game.

A strong fightback followed with Sabalenka’s power too much to handle by the end.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 2-6 Aryna Sabalenka* - Game, set and match!

12:35 , Michael Jones

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina defeated Victoria Azarenka to reach her second grand slam final at the Australian Open.

The 23-year-old has shown the same form that carried her to a maiden major title on the lawns of SW19 last summer, using her big serve and groundstrokes to overpower opponents including world number one Iga Swiatek.

Her latest victim was two-time former champion Azarenka, who was back in the semi-finals for the first time since her second title at Melbourne Park in 2013.

The Belarusian fought back from a break down in the opening set but paid for too many errors in the tie-break, and Rybakina was the more composed in the second to seal a 7-6 (4) 6-3 victory.

Elena Rybakina reaches Australian Open final with win over Victoria Azarenka

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 2-6 Aryna Sabalenka* - Game, set and match!

12:29 , Michael Jones

 (EPA)
(EPA)
 (EPA)
(EPA)

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 2-6 Aryna Sabalenka* - Game, set and match!

12:26 , Michael Jones

There it is! Aryna Sabalenka powers a forehand winner past Magda Linette and wins the game, the set and the match.

Sabalenka moves into the Australian Open final and will face Elena Rybakina.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 2-5 Aryna Sabalenka*

12:25 , Michael Jones

There’s a whole heap of pressure on Aryna Sabalenka. She wants to win this game badly. A scuffed forehand lands in the net and the game draws level at 30-30.

Sabalenka calms herself down and rattles another ace down the T line. 40-30.

Match point to come.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 2-5 Aryna Sabalenka*

12:23 , Michael Jones

Now then, can Aryna Sabalenka hold serve and win this game?

Magda Linette isn’t going away and Sabalenka needs to hold her nerve. The increase in adrenaline isn’t helping as she goes long twice from the serve for a double fault.

15-15.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 6-7 2-5 Aryna Sabalenka

12:21 , Michael Jones

Linette holds! After saving a third match point Magda Linette takes the attack to Aryna Sabalenka and forces her across the baseline.

She whips a forehand over to the far side of court and Sabalenka goes long to gift Linette the game!

That’s a fantastic hold from Magda Linette.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 6-7 1-5 Aryna Sabalenka

12:19 , Michael Jones

No! Sabalenka’s latest backhand smashes into the net. 30-40.

And again! Magda Linette manages to claw the game to deuce wehn Sabalenka goes long!

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 6-7 1-5 Aryna Sabalenka

12:18 , Michael Jones

Two match points for Aryna Sabalenka! The Belarusian lands a cross court backhand and has a couple of chances to win the match now.

Can she take one?

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 1-5 Aryna Sabalenka*

12:13 , Michael Jones

That’s got to have broken the back of Magda Linette. Three break points came and went for her and what was probably her last chance to get back in the match goes begging.

Aryna Sabalenka holds from 15-40 down and moves within one game of reaching the Australian Open final.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 1-4 Aryna Sabalenka*

12:12 , Michael Jones

“Let’s go Magda, let’s go.” is the chant from the crowd as Magda Linette positions herself for two break points. The response from Aryna Sabalenka is top quality though and the fifth seed quickly forces the game to deuce.

A third break point comes and goes for Linette after Sabalenka fizzes down her fifth ace of the match!

This is brilliant pressure play from the Belarusian.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 6-7 1-4 Aryna Sabalenka - Sabalenka breaks!

12:07 , Michael Jones

This is impressive stuff from Aryna Sabalenka. She quickly sets up three break points before a fine return from Magda Linette clips the line and forces a stretching Sabalenka to spoon her return over the back. 15-40.

The next point goes the Belarusian’s way as she slices a backhand winner to the far corner. The fifth seed is two breaks up in the second set now.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 1-3 Aryna Sabalenka*

12:03 , Michael Jones

Sabalenka holds! Magda Linette threatens to make a comeback but hooks a backhand wide of court and the game goes to Sabalenka.

She’s won three games in a row now and is flying.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 1-2 Aryna Sabalenka*

12:01 , Michael Jones

Magda Linette’s defence is starting to let her down. Up to this point she has been able to fend off Sabalenka more powerful strokes but the fifth seed is lacing her shots with a bit of extra venom and Linette twice finds the net.

30-0.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 6-7 1-2 Aryna Sabalenka - Sabalenka breaks!

11:59 , Michael Jones

Sabalenka wants to get in front. She’s shaking her head and growing frustrated when she makes mistakes against Linette’s serve. A powerful backhand to the back corner sees Linette hook a return out of play and Sabalenka moves level at 30-30.

Another error from Linette sets up a break point for the Belarusian and she takes it!

Linette scuffs a return over the back and the first break of the second set goes to Aryna Sabalenka!

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-7 1-1 Aryna Sabalenka*

11:55 , Michael Jones

‘Come on!’ yells Aryna Sabalenka as she manages to hold serve despite a fightback to 30-30 from Magda Linette.

The crowd is backing the Pole which adds some pressure on Sabalenka but two blistering serves help her to see out the game.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 6-7 1-0 Aryna Sabalenka

11:52 , Michael Jones

Wonderful fortitude from Magda Linette. She digs in and keeps the ball in play, waiting for Aryna Sabalenka to make a couple of mistakes.

The Belarusian senses that the game was there to win and tries to force the issue. She goes long before twice finding the net.

Linette holds serve.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 6-7 0-0 Aryna Sabalenka

11:49 , Michael Jones

Oh no! Magda Linette has the right idea in dropping the ball over the net but she gets the execution wrong and the ball sits up kindly for Sabalenka to drill a cross court winner back past her.

Linette then sends a return out of play and gifts Sabalenka another point. 0-30.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 6-7 0-0 Aryna Sabalenka

11:47 , Michael Jones

After a brilliant battle to take the first set to a tie-break Aryna Sabalenka stepped up a gear and blitzed through the tie-breaker to storm to victory in the first set.

Magda Linette is playing some brilliant tennis but now has it all to do. She’s got to claim the second set to stay in this match. The Pole will serve up the first game.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-6 (1-7) Aryna Sabalenka* - Sabalenka wins the first set!

11:44 , Michael Jones

Magda Linette saves the first of six set points after an attempted lob from Sabalenka goes long.

The Belarusian now has to serve for the win and is just too powerful for Linette. Linette does her best to keep the ball in play but a forehand slice loops over the back of the court and Sabalenka wins the first set!

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-6 (0-6) Aryna Sabalenka*

11:41 , Michael Jones

Two imperious holds from her serve follow and Magda Linette is on the brink now. Aryna Sabalenka is two points away from taking the opening set.

Make that one. Sabalenka finds the line from a return of serve and moves 6-0 up.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 6-6 (0-3) Aryna Sabalenka*

11:40 , Michael Jones

Sabalenka serves first and wins the opening point. The Belarusian then latches onto Linette’s second serve and smashes a backhand return across court. She then goes down the line and Linette fails to get back her return.

Sabalenka continues to utilise her powerful two-handed backhand and moves three love up in the tie-break. Absolutely dominant tennis.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 6-6 Aryna Sabalenka

11:38 , Michael Jones

Deuce! Sabalenka isn’t done yet.

What a rally! Both women engage in a cross court battle and Sabalenka thinks she’s won it. A fine return forces Linette wide setting up a simple forehand winner but Sabalenka sends the effort into the net!

Linette then gets lucky as the ball drops into Sabalenka’s side of court off the net and the Pole takes the first set to a tie-break!

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 5-6 Aryna Sabalenka

11:35 , Michael Jones

Beautiful! Pinpoint accuracy from Magda Linette brings her level and then takes her into the lead as she targets Sabalenka’s body from the serve before landing a pacey forehand right in the corner of the baseline!

40-30.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 5-6 Aryna Sabalenka

11:34 , Michael Jones

0-15. Magda Linette whips a backhand into the net and gives away the first point of the game. The Pole then double faults and gifts another point to Sabalenka.

Is the pressure beginning to tell on her?

Maybe not! Linette sticks into the next rally and works Sabalenka side-to-side. The Belarusian still has the chance to win the point but finds the net with a forehand down the line!

15-30.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 5-6 Aryna Sabalenka*

11:31 , Michael Jones

It’s another highly impressive hold of serve from Aryna Sabalenka. She’s grown brilliantly into this match after a sketchy start.

The pressure goes back onto Magda Linette who must now hold serve to stay in this set and force a tie-break.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 5-5 Aryna Sabalenka

11:28 , Michael Jones

Game Linette! The Pole brings the set back on level terms after Sabalenka knocks the ball wide then drills a backhand into the net.

There are chants of ‘Magda, Magda, Magda’ coming from the crowd. They do love an underdog.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 4-5 Aryna Sabalenka

11:26 , Michael Jones

Oh yes! Sabalenka gets lucky as she hits the net but the ball bounces in play. Linette responds with a cross court forehand that Sabalenka smashes back at her. The Pole is well set for the return though and blazes a forehand of her own down the line to win the first point!

15-0.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 4-5 Aryna Sabalenka*

11:24 , Michael Jones

This is a big game now. We’re into the back end of the first set and whoever wins will have a shot at taking the set without a tie-break.

Aryna Sabalenka doesn’t feel any pressure. She rattles down a series of serves and flies through the game without conceding a point.

Incredible hitting from the fifth seed. A break of serve will now win her the first set.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 4-4 Aryna Sabalenka

11:21 , Michael Jones

Linette goes wide from her first serve. She’s landed 84% of them in this set which has helped her out massively. Sabalenka goes long from the return and gives away the point before an error from Linette sees her dink the ball out of play.

15-15.

Oh stop that! Sabalenka fails to get back the next serve but launches the ball right into the corner in the next rally. Linette sprints across court and drills her own forehand down the line and lands it right on the edge to take the point. What a shot!

40-15.

Linette then holds serve. What a match this is.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 3-4 Aryna Sabalenka*

11:17 , Michael Jones

Aryna Sabalenka’s consistency hasn’t really been there today but she’s landing enough winners and power shots to keep Magda Linette on her toes.

The Belarusian holds serve once more.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 3-3 Aryna Sabalenka*

11:16 , Michael Jones

Wonderful! Aryna Sabalenka breezes into a 30-0 lead in the next game but Magda Linette dominates the next rally. She forces Sabalenka behind the baseline then latches onto a backhander and smokes it down the line to on the board in this game.

The crowd appreciated that shot too and gave her a loud cheer. 30-15.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 3-3 Aryna Sabalenka

11:14 , Michael Jones

Madga Linette is soaking up a lot of powerful strokes from Aryna Sabalenka but they just keep coming from the Belarusian. It’s a fine display of defensive tennis and Linette is making it work with some fine serves right on the T line.

Twice Sabalenka drills backhand shots into the net and helps Linette hold her serve.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 2-3 Aryna Sabalenka*

11:12 , Michael Jones

Sabalenka holds! After drawing level it doesn’t take the number five seed long to close out the game. She’s getting better and better as this set goes on and now leads for the first time.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 2-2 Aryna Sabalenka*

11:11 , Michael Jones

The first set is back on serve and there’s a fine match developing at the Rod Laver Arena. Oh that’s brilliant. Linette is gifted a couple of points against the serve but Sabalenka recovers her composure.

A powerful serve brings the game to 15-30 before the two women engage in the longest rally of the match so far. Linette works the ball wide and forces Sabalenka off balance. The Pole should fizz the ball to the other side of court but tries to trick her opponent and Sabalenka manages to squeeze back a return.

The momentum then swings the way of the Belarusian who wins the point with another crushing forehand! 30-30.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 2-2 Aryna Sabalenka - Sabalenka breaks!

11:07 , Michael Jones

Great fightback! Aryna Sabalenka has learned some patience. From her start to this matchs it seemed evident that she hoped to dominate rallies early on.

Instead she’s letting them develop and works Linette to either side of the court. A few errors from the Pole help Sabalenka bring the game up to deuce before she blitzes to advantage.

Another lengthy rally sees Sabalenka work Linette onto her forehand before switching up and drilling a backhander to the opposite side of court to complete her break!

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 2-1 Aryna Sabalenka

11:04 , Michael Jones

Magda Linette has been very impressive so far. She’s quick and shuffles across the baseline with gusto. It’s needed as Sabalenka is sticking to her plan A of out-hitting her opponent.

Also in the arsenal are Linette’s accurate serves which help her take a 40-0 lead in the fourth game.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 2-1 Aryna Sabalenka*

11:02 , Michael Jones

This is better from Aryna Sabalenka. She’s growing into the set now and quickly move to 30-0 on her own serve. The Belarusian continues to nail her forehand strokes but Linette manages to keep her at bay.

The Pole is pushed onto the back foot though and hooks a return out of play after Sabalenka smokes a cross court backhand straight at her.

Sabalenka holds serve.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 2-0 Aryna Sabalenka

10:58 , Michael Jones

Oh lovely! A nice rally develops between the two women before Sabalenka brings Linette up to the net. The Pole meets the next return on the volley and plays a dainty backhand drop to win the point.

Linette holds serve as Sabalenka then hooks a backhand return of serve out of play.

Australian Open 2023: *Magda Linette 1-0 Aryna Sabalenka

10:56 , Michael Jones

Aryna Sabalenka gets her first point on the board with a wonderful return from Magda Linette’s first serve, drilling the ball back past her opponent with a cross court finisher.

Linette responds brilliantly though. Consecutive aces take her back into the lead. 30-15.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 1-0 Aryna Sabalenka* - Linette breaks!

10:55 , Michael Jones

Oh here we go! Magda Linette soaks up all of Aryna Sabalenka’s powerful hits focuses on keeping the ball in play. Sabalenka tries to force the issue and makes a bunch of errors, smashing the ball over to back of court on multiple occasions.

Linette moves swiftly to 0-40 up before another error from Sabalenka gives her an early break of serve!

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette 0-0 Aryna Sabalenka*

10:53 , Michael Jones

Aryna Sabalenka serves first and sends the ball over to Magda Linette’s forehand. It’s a comfortable return for the Polish star but Sabalenka responds with a few powerful hits to the corner.

Linette sticks to the baseline and returns each shot before Sabalenka fires one into the net to gift her opponent the first point.

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette vs Aryna Sabalenka

10:50 , Michael Jones

After taking the pre-match photos and going through a few warm up serves and rallies the players are ready to go. Magda Linette has beaten some great players in Caroline Garcia and Karolina Pliskova to reach her first grand slam semi-final.

Can she add Aryna Sabalenka to her list of defeated opponents today?

Australian Open 2023: Magda Linette vs Aryna Sabalenka

10:47 , Michael Jones

The second semi-final will be played between Poland’s Magda Linette and Belarus’s Aryna Sabalenka. The players head out onto court at the Rod Laver Arena.

This could be a tough one for the unseeded Pole. Number five seed Aryna Sabalenka has been in brilliant form and is the heavy favourite to join Elena Rybakina in the final.

Will this semi-final play out that way or can Linette provide a shock result?

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 7-6 6-3 Victoria Azarenka - Game, set and match!

10:44 , Michael Jones

Elena Rybakina reaches her second grand slam final after winning at Wimbledon last year. Her gameplan of targeting Azarenka’s forehand with powerful shots paid off handsomely.

Who will join her in the final?

 (EPA)
(EPA)
 (AP)
(AP)

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 7-6 6-3 Victoria Azarenka - Game, set and match!

10:40 , Michael Jones

More from Elena Rybakina: “Of course my team were nervous because they want me to perform well. I could not play so aggressive but I am happy that in the end I managed to win.

“But I will try my best in the final of course.

“It was really special and nervous to play in front of them [seven of the Original 9]. I want to say a big thank you from the players because it is unbelievable what you have done for us and the new generation. It means a lot.

“I got a lot of experience from Wimbledon. I want to come on court to enjoy the moment and atmosphere.

“It is incredible to play in front of you guys so thank you so much. I will fight and hopefully I will win.”

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 7-6 6-3 Victoria Azarenka - Game, set and match!

10:31 , Jamie Braidwood

Elena Rybakina: “I’m super happy and proud. It’s an incredible atmosphere, I’m super happy to be in the final and play one more time here. Today was a bit tougher for me it was different conditions, I couldn’t play really aggressive tennis, the ball was not going so much.”

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 7-6 6-3 Victoria Azarenka - Game, set and match!

10:29 , Jamie Braidwood

But Rybakina goes again - attacking the Azarenka serve with consecutive winners. It’s followed by a double fault, as Rybakina gets three match points to take her to the Australian Open final.

And there it is! Azarenka nets on the backhand and Rybakina moves through to her second grand slam final. She overcomes some nervy moments with an impressive second set, and gets past the challenge of two-time winner Azarenka.

Azarenka was below her best and missed chances in the first.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 7-6 5-3 Victoria Azarenka* - Azarenka breaks!

10:25 , Jamie Braidwood

Rybakina is nervy as she serves for the match. A double fault sees Azarenka look at two break points, but she finds the first serve and slams away the forehand winner.

But then Azarenka steers a backhand winner off the return! Game on.

Australian Open 2023: *Elena Rybakina 7-6 5-2 Victoria Azarenka- Rybakina breaks!

10:21 , Jamie Braidwood

Azarenka is faced with pressure on her serve after throwing in a double fault and at 30-30 Rybakina attacks with big, swinging forehands crosscourt. Rybakina’s return to the Azarenka backhand is immaculate and the 33-year-old pushes wide.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 7-6 4-2 Victoria Azarenka*

10:18 , Jamie Braidwood

Rybakina moves superbly well to reach a backhand in the corner before steering Azarenka’s drop shot for a forehand winner. The Wimbledon champion holds to love.

Australian Open 2023: *Elena Rybakina 7-6 3-2 Victoria Azarenka

10:13 , Jamie Braidwood

Rybakina gets her serve in play and is able to squeeze further errors from Azarenka to get two break points on the Azarenka serve.

But that’s a big miss from the Wimbledon champion! Azarenka left a ball short but Rybakina crashes a forehand into the net.

Rybakina then fires wide on the forehand abd Azarenka is able to get out of trouble. That was a missed opportunity for Rybakina, as Azarenka hangs on.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 7-6 3-1 Victoria Azarenka*

10:08 , Jamie Braidwood

Azarenka gets a half-chance on the Rybakina serve but floats a backhand long when faced with a second-serve. It’s another poor error on the return and Rybakina swiftly closes the door.

Australian Open 2023: *Elena Rybakina 7-6 2-1 Victoria Azarenka - Rybakina breaks

10:03 , Jamie Braidwood

Azarenka swips at the ball in frustration as Rybakina breaks to love. Azarenka is just unable to stop the flow of errors that are coming off her racket.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 7-6 1-1 Victoria Azarenka*

10:01 , Jamie Braidwood

Rybakina has found her serve again and belts out three aces to take the opening hold.

Australian Open 2023: *Elena Rybakina 7-6 0-1 Victoria Azarenka

09:57 , Jamie Braidwood

What a shot from Azarenka! Faced with break point in the opening game of the second set, the 33-year-old whips a wonderful forehand winner across court, and is able to take the hold from there.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 7-6 Victoria Azarenka - Rybakina wins the first set!

09:49 , Jamie Braidwood

That was not the finest of tiebreaks from either player but it’s Rybakina who limits the errors to take the opening set in exactly an hour. Faced against two set points, Azarenka steered a backhand wide and will now have to forget the three break points she had a 5-5 in the first.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 6-6 Victoria Azarenka - Tiebreak!

09:44 , Jamie Braidwood

Rybakina takes a 4-2 lead at the change of ends after dictating the baseline rallies. It puts pressure on Azarenka, who double faults to hand Rybakina the advantage.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 6-6 Victoria Azarenka - Tiebreak!

09:39 , Jamie Braidwood

Azarenka holds to love and we move onto a tiebreak - the 33-year-old moved in well to put a backhand winner past Rybakina.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 6-5 Victoria Azarenka*

09:35 , Jamie Braidwood

Wow - Rybakina double faults on 0-30 and suddenly Azarenka has three break points. Rybakina’s first-serve percentage has dropped dramatically and it’s giving Azarenka confidence to attack the rallies.

That said, Rybakina is still able to unload from the baseline. She moves in to put away the forehand winner and save the first two break points. And that’s a big chance missed from Azarenka! She slumps the second-serve return into the net.

And it steadies Rybakina - she serves it out with an ace, and that could be a big moment in this set.

Australian Open 2023: *Elena Rybakina 5-5 Victoria Azarenka

09:29 , Jamie Braidwood

Azarenka gets a big hold to put some scoreboard pressure on Rybakina. Azarenka has disrupted Rybakina with her approach from the baseline and needs to find some first serves in this next game.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 5-4 Victoria Azarenka*

09:25 , Jamie Braidwood

Rybakina comes out to serve from the set but Azarenka responds well to hit to the baseline, Rybakina unable to get past her opponent at the net despite reading the volley.

A brilliant pick-up volley from Rybakina is followed by a thunderous forehand winner to get back to 30-30.

She finds the first serve and Azarenka is pushed back and nets - bringing up set point. But as Rybakina comes into the net, Azarenka curls a lovely forehand winner down the line.

Azarenka’s good return on deuce forces a break point chance, but Rybakina controls the forehand winner. Azarenka goes aggressive again to bring up another break point, though.

And there it is! Azarenka returns well and Rybakina goes long! She’s back in the set.

Australian Open 2023: *Elena Rybakina 5-3 Victoria Azarenka - Rybakina breaks!

09:18 , Jamie Braidwood

That’s very impressive from Rybakina - Azarenka leaves the ball just a touch short in mid-court on consecutive points and Rybakina lands a forehand and then backhand winner down the line to bring up two break points.

Azarenka saves them both well, the second with a steely forehand winner crosscourt, but Rybakina goes again with unrelenting power from the baseline, pushing Azarenka back and firing for the space.

Azarenka nets and Rybakina gets the break.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 4-3 Victoria Azarenka*

09:12 , Jamie Braidwood

Business as usual for Rybakina, who races through the next service game to love.

Australian Open 2023: *Elena Rybakina 3-3 Victoria Azarenka - Rybakina breaks!

09:09 , Jamie Braidwood

And now an immediate break-back chance for Rybakina, who loops a forehand and catches the back of the baseline. It catches Azarenka by surprise and the two-time winner goes long. Rybakina attacks the second serve impressively and Azarenka is forced into the error.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 2-3 Victoria Azarenka* - Azarenka breaks!

09:04 , Jamie Braidwood

A chance for Azarenka, as the 33-year-old lands her first return to stretch Rybakina. After landing it at her feet, Azarenka follows it in on the forehand winner. On break point, she returns again and takes on Rybakina at the net, eventually putting away the volley at the net to get the break! That could be big.

Australian Open 2023: *Elena Rybakina 2-2 Victoria Azarenka

09:01 , Jamie Braidwood

Azarenka steps into a backhand winner and plants the ball on the line to move to 40-15, and then thumps an ace to take the hold. This match is very much being set by the pace of Rybakina so far and Azarenka is having to grit her teeth to hold on.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 2-1 Victoria Azarenka*

08:56 , Jamie Braidwood

It’s a brilliant start from Rybakina, as she whips a forehand winner off the back of her serve to get the hold. So far the only point Azarenka has won against serve is a double fault.

Australian Open 2023: *Elena Rybakina 1-1 Victoria Azarenka

08:54 , Jamie Braidwood

Azarenka’s first service game is much more of a battle, with Ryabkina hitting the ball hard and early from inside the baseline. It takes Azarenka a moment to adjust to the power from the baseline, and she gets the hold from deuce as Ryabkina steers a beackhand wide.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 0-1 Victoria Azarenka*

08:48 , Jamie Braidwood

Rybakina begins with a double fault but it’s followed by three aces in a row to take the opening hold.

*denotes next server

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina vs Victoria Azarenka

08:44 , Jamie Braidwood

Here are the players - Rybakina looks as cool and unflustered as ever, Azarenka comes out with her Paris Saint-Germain top.

This should be a great battle between serve and return.

Australian Open 2023

08:40 , Jamie Braidwood

Before this morning’s semi-finals there was a presentation for the ‘Original 9’ on what is the 50th anniversary of the role they played in the creation of the WTA and the women’s professional tour.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina vs Victoria Azarenka

08:35 , Jamie Braidwood

Rybakina and Azarenka have only met once before, with the Wimbledon champion winning 6-4 6-3 at Indian Wells last season.

Azarenka has spoken at the progress she has made mentally this year, which has led to her first Australian Open semi-final in 10 years.

Australian Open 2023

08:25 , Jamie Braidwood

Victoria Azarenka said it has taken her 10 years to get over the criticism she faced following her last Australian Open semi-final after finally making it back to the last four.

The Belarusian defeated Jessica Pegula 6-4 6-1 in the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park on Tuesday and is putting together her best run since winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

The second of those proved controversial, with Azarenka taking a long medical time-out after failing to serve out a semi-final win over Sloane Stephens, who was then only 19.

Azarenka broke in the next game to clinch victory and told the crowd: “I almost did the choke of the year. I just felt a little bit overwhelmed realising that I’m one step from the final and nerves got into me for sure.”

Azarenka later said she had pain in her chest and took the medical time-out for that reason but she faced a barrage of criticism for her actions before going on to defeat Li Na in the final.

Asked about the incident, a fired-up Azarenka said: “It was one of the worst things that I’ve ever gone through in my professional career, the way I was treated after that moment, the way I had to explain myself until 10.30pm at night because people didn’t want to believe me.

“There is sometimes, I don’t know, an incredible desire for a villain and a hero story that has to be written. But we’re not villains, we’re not heroes, we are regular human beings that go through so many, many things.

“Assumptions and judgments, all those comments, are just s**t because nobody’s there to see the full story. It didn’t matter how many times I said my story, it did not cut through.

“I was thinking about it. It took me 10 f***ing years to get over it. I finally am over that.”

Victoria Azarenka defeated Jessica Pegula in the Australian Open quarter-finals (Ng Han Guan/AP) (AP)
Victoria Azarenka defeated Jessica Pegula in the Australian Open quarter-finals (Ng Han Guan/AP) (AP)

Australian Open 2023

08:21 , Jamie Braidwood

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina feels she is reaping the benefits of experience as she chases a second grand slam title at the Australian Open.

The 23-year-old continued her fine form at Melbourne Park with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Jelena Ostapenko to reach the semi-finals.

As expected between two of the biggest hitters on the women’s tour, this was first-strike tennis, with nearly three-quarters of the points being decided in four sets shots or fewer.

But Rybakina was the steadier while her serve, the best in the women’s game following Serena Williams’ retirement, yielded 11 aces and was a key difference between them.

Rybakina was a surprise champion at the All England Club but it would not be a shock if she ended the fortnight lifting the trophy here, particularly with the conditions favouring flat hitters.

“I think of course I got all the experience at Wimbledon and it’s helping me now this time here in Australia and I know what to expect,” she said.

“I already did it once and of course I got confident that I can do it again. I did really good preparation with the team. I’m not really surprised with the results. I’m happy. I’m just hungry to work and improve more.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Australian Open 2023: Djokovic’s father filmed posing with Putin supporters

08:16 , Jamie Braidwood

Novak Djokovic’s father has been filmed posing for pictures with a group of Vladimir Putin supporters at the Australian Open.

Srdjan Djokovic can be seen alongside a man holding a Russian flag with Putin’s face on it, in footage that emerged on YouTube.

The man was also wearing a t-shirt with the letter ‘Z’ on it, which has become known as the makeshift logo of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While Srdjan Djokovic poses for pictures, the man also appears to shout: “Long live Russia”.

The Australian Open banned Russian flags from the Melbourne Park grounds last week but crowds gathered on the steps of the Rod Laver Arena following nine-time champion Djokovic’s victory over the Russian player Andrey Rublev in Wednesday’s quarter-final.

They could be seen chanting in support of Russia, while the face of Putin was also visible alongside flags of Russia and Djokovic’s native Serbia.

Srdjan Djokovic’s encounter with the group while he was leaving the Rod Laver Arena has led to a statement from Tennis Australia reminding “players and their teams” of their responsibilities.

Novak Djokovic’s father filmed posing with Vladimir Putin supporters

Good morning

08:15 , Jamie Braidwood

Follow live updates from the Australian Open women’s semi-finals as Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina takes on two-time winner Victoria Azarenka in the opening match on Rod Laver Arena.

Rybakina has been in impressive form as the 23-year-old aims to win her second grand slam title in six months, defeating world No 1 Iga Swiatek to reach this stage. She now faces an experienced competitor in Azarenka, with the 33-year-old Belarusian player through to her first Australian Open semi-final since her last title in Melbourne Park 10 years ago.

It could be an all-Belarusian final on Saturday if the fifth seed Aryna Sabalenka defeats the unseeded Polish player Magda Linette in the other semi-final. Sabalenka has been in dominant form so far and is yet to drop a set so far this tournament, with Linette defeating Caroline Garcia and Karolina Pliskova to reach her first grand slam semi-final.

Elsewhere, further controversy is surrounding Novak Djokovic in Australia after his father, Srdjan Djokovic, was filmed posing for pictures with a group of Vladimir Putin supporters on Wednesday. Djokovic’s win over the Russian player Andrey Rublev was followed by a showing of support for Russia on the steps of the Rod Laver Arena.