In the first semi-final of the WTA Premier event in Adelaide, the 19-year-old Dayana Yastremska took down Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 7-6 in an hour and 44 minutes, advancing into the fourth WTA title match and the first at this level.
A teenager has played some impressive tennis this week under the close eye of Sascha Bajin, producing almost everything from her rich arsenal and moving just 50 points away from the place in the top-20, trying to become the second player born in 2000 or later in that group after Bianca Andreescu.
It was the third meeting between Yastremska and Sabalenka and the third victory for the Ukrainian who had to play against only two break chances. Dominating with her first serve, Dayana got broken once and created eight opportunities on the return, seizing two of those and sealing the deal with reliable performance in the second set tie break.
The younger player had 25 winners and 30 unforced errors, keeping the points on her racquet and reducing Sabalenka to 14 winners and 24 mistakes, taking seven points more than her rival and awaiting for Ashleigh Barty or Danielle Collins in the title match.
Dayana hit the zone right from the start, finding her strokes and delivering one good hold after another to keep the pressure on the other side of the net. Aryna survived three break chances in the third game before Yastremska grabbed a break two games later following a backhand error from the Belarusian.
A forehand crosscourt winner confirmed the break for the Ukrainian in the next game, coming from 30-0 down in the tenth game to seal the opener with an ace after 37 minutes. The second set turned to be a grueling affair that lasted for almost 70 minutes, although Dayana had an early break with a return down the line winner in the first game.
Serving at 1-3, Sabalenka fended off a break point to stay in the match, pulling the break back in the next game following a costly double fault from Yastremska and staying neck and neck with the Ukrainian in the rest of the set to introduce a tie break.
Delivering bombs from both wings, Yastremska opened a 4-1 advantage with a forehand winner and sealed the deal with a service winner at 6-4 to book the place in the final, the biggest one of her young career so far.