Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka avenged a U.S. Open loss to Coco Gauff in a straight-set semifinal win Thursday, becoming the first woman since Serena Williams to reach back-to-back finals at the Australian Open.
Sabalenka attacked Gauff’s serve with her powerful returns and unloaded 33 winners in the 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory that extended her winning streak to 13 matches at Melbourne Park.
“I was just ready for anything tonight,” Sabalenka said. “I was able to focus on myself.”
She will meet Zheng Qinwen or Dayana Yastremska in Saturday’s championship decider. Zheng and No. 93-ranked Yastremska, a qualifier from Ukraine, were playing their first ever Grand Slam semifinal.
Sabalenka was back in the semis for the fifth straight major, a run that started here in Australia last year in her Grand Slam breakthrough. She’s the first since reach consecutive finals here since Williams did in 2015, ’16 and ’17.
Gauff went into the semifinals unbeaten in 2024 after winning a title in Auckland, New Zealand.
The 19-year-old American was on a 12-match winning streak in majors and attempting to be the first player since Naomi Osaka in 2020-21 to win the U.S. Open and Australian Open titles back to back.
She’d worked out how to beat Sabalenka in New York last September to win her first major title, but didn’t have the answers this time against the only player in the final four with semifinal experience in Australia.
Bopanna and Ebden, ranked second in men’s doubles, lost to Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the U.S. Open final last September.
In Saturday’s final, they’ll play Italian pair Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori.