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Ruthless Rybakina rolls into Australian Open semis

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Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina celebrates winning her quarter final match against Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina became the first player into the Australian Open semi-finals after outmuscling Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-4 in a one-sided contest on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

The Russian-born Kazakh looked sharp from the start and only a 25-minute delay to close the stadium roof against a passing shower prevented her from wrapping up the opening set within a half-an-hour of arriving on court.

Former French Open champion Ostapenko looked unable to cope with big-serving Rybakina’s pace and power in the opening stanza but ramped up her own fierce groundstrokes to break for a 2-0 lead at the start of the second.

Rybakina, who ousted favourite Iga Swiatek in the fourth round, broke straight back, however, and prevailed in an arm-wrestle of a second set to book a meeting with American Jessica Pegula or twice Melbourne Park champion Victoria Azarenka.

Khachanov ‘reinvents’ himself to reach Grand Slam semis again
Karen Khachanov said reinventing himself as a player had helped him breakthrough to the semi-final stage at Grand Slams after the Russian advanced to the last four of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Khachanov’s opponent Sebastian Korda retired with a wrist injury while trailing 7-6(5) 6-3 3-0, sending the 26-year-old into his second straight Grand Slam semi-final after last year’s U.S. Open.

Khachanov burst onto the scene in 2018 when he won the Paris Masters but has had little success since, falling out of the top 10 and reaching only two Grand Slam quarter-finals until his run at Flushing Meadows last year.

“I think I kind of reinvented myself,” said the world number 20. “I would say I always believe in myself but there were always ups and downs.

“Sometimes when you have those great results, it shows you what you are capable of. Then you start to believe more and more. This belief and self-confidence appear much stronger after the U.S. Open.

“I made a few semi-finals already, so I hope to continue that way and to grow as a person and as a sportsman.”

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