Yastremska Becomes First Qualifier To Reach Australian Open Semifinal Since 1978

Yastremska Becomes First Qualifier To Reach Australian Open Semifinal Since 1978

by Jordan Reynolds

Last updated

Dayana Yastremska progressed to the Australian Open semifinal with a victory against Linda Noskova and is the first qualifier to achieve that in 46 years.

It had already been an incredible run for the Ukrainian. Yastremska came into the match having won seven matches in a row, including the three that she prevailed in to qualify for the main draw.

Her run included a fourth-round victory against Victoria Azarenka. Many found this notable due to Azarenka being Belarusian, and Yastremska admitted many would not like her true feelings on that issue.

Like Yastremska, Noskova was competing in her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal. This included a third-round victory against world No. 1 Iga Swiatek. Her fourth-round contest ended with the sad retirement of Elina Svitolina after three games.

It was set to be a fantastic match at the Rod Laver Arena, but it was Yastremska who rose to the occasion better on the biggest stage either player had experienced in their careers to this point.

It was Noskova who broke first in the opening set to take a 2-1 lead, but Yastremska immediately broke back to retrieve that deficit with some powerful and deep hitting from the baseline.

The Ukrainian did not look back after that. She was consistently the more threatening player throughout the set. A crucial moment was an unbelievable backhand pass Yastremska hit off a smash at 4-4 30-15 on Noskova's serve. She won the next two points to break.

Yastremska did face one break point in the next game after uncharacteristically making some errors, but she saw off that pressure to take the opening set 6-4 and get closer to a first Grand Slam semifinal.

The first six games of the second set were pretty even. Yastremska was still striking the ball slightly better from the baseline, but strong serving from Noskova meant she held her first three games comfortably.

However, the seventh game was where the set was decided. Noskova suddenly became loose again on serve, and Yastremska took full advantage. Her Czech opponent could not deal with her powerful hitting and Yastremska broke to make it 4-3.

The 23-year-old made no mistake from there. Yastremska held her next two service games to win 6-3 6-4 to become the first qualifier to reach the Australian Open semifinal since Christine Matison in 1978.


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