Brisbane: Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina set for another final showdown in Australia

Sabalenka and Rybakina set to meet in the Brisbane final.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Brisbane: Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina set for another final showdown in Australia
© Getty Images Sport - Mark Kolbe

Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina have set a blockbuster Brisbane final as everything is set for the rematch of the 2023 Australian Open final. 

Sabalenka, the No. 1 seed in Brisbane, ousted former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-2 6-4. By beating two-time Grand Slam champion Azarenka, 25-year-old Sabalenka reached the Brisbane final in her tournament debut.

On the other side, second-seeded Rybakina routinely handled the business against Linda Noskova, beating the rising Czech star 6-3 6-2. Now, Rybakina - the 2022 Brisbane runner-up - has been through to her second Brisbane final. 

How Sabalenka defeated Azarenka?

Sabalenka got off to a positive start against Azarenka, breaking fellow Belarusian in the fourth game for a 3-1 lead. In the eighth game - when Azarenka was serving to stay in the first set - Sabalenka earned her second break to clinch the first set.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka© Getty Images Sport - Bradley Kanaris
 

Early in the second start, Sabalenka was putting pressure on Azarenka in her return games but failed to get an early break after missing out on two break points in the second game and one more break point in the third game. After saving some early break points, Azarenka had her first break points - she missed out a break point in the seventh game and two more break points in the ninth game. 

With Sabalenka leading 5-4 and Azarenka serving to stay in the match, the top-seeded Belarus broke the former world No. 1 to complete a two-set win.

Rybakina gave no chance to Noskova

After breaking Noskova in the second game of the match, Rybakina routinely held on to her serve for the remainder of the first set to clinch the opener.

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde
 

Up by a set, Rybakina claimed back-to-back breaks in the third and fifth games to open a commanding 5-1 second-set lead. Serving for the set in the 10th game, Rybakina saved a break point before realizing her first match point to complete a routine two-set win.

On Sunday, the Brisbane crowd will have a chance to watch Sabalenka and Rybakina go up against each other. 12 months ago, Sabalenka beat Rybakina in a high-quality Australian Open final to lift her first Grand Slam title.

Aryna Sabalenka Elena Rybakina
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