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Elena Rybakina surges past Jelena Ostapenko to reach her maiden Australian Open semi-final in Melbourne

Elena Rybakina is through to the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time in her career after a 6-2 6-4 win over Jelena Ostapenko in one hour and 21 minutes.

The world No. 23 was ruthless on her first serve and did not let a rain delay midway through the first set deter her from reaching the last four of the Grand Slam for the first time.

Rybakina, chasing the second Slam title of her career, will play either world No. 3 Jessica Pegula or former world No. 1 Viktoria Azarenka in the last four.

“I’m super happy to be in my first semi-final, it’s amazing to be in the semi-finals here,” the 23-year-old said in her on-court interview afterwards.

“Of course I was nervous, especially in the last game to be honest.

“I wasn’t as nervous as before the match so I’m super happy that I managed with the emotions and I played really well today.”

‘Happy I managed the emotions’ – Rybakina after reaching AO semi-finals

Ostapenko was broken in the very first game. Rybakina hit a blistering return on her second serve to earn the break point before a poor forehand from the Latvian handed the Kazakhstani the game.

Ostapenko was continuing to make a large amount of unforced errors and just when Rybakina had another break point, the rain came pouring down and there was a delay to shut the roof. Rybakina was visibly unhappy with the stoppage.

Ostapenko complains about the line in first set of her defeat to Rybakina

When play did restart Ostapenko saved one break point, but Rybakina took it on a second go when the No. 17 seed hit a backhand wide. Rybakina dominated the set, hitting 12 winners to clinch the opener in 32 minutes.

Ostapenko let out a scream when she worked her way to two break points in Rybakina’s first service game of the second set.

A Rybakina forehand into the net sealed Ostapenko the break, but she broke back immediately in the next game with Ostapenko’s forehand letting her down.

Rybakina saved four break points to level at 2-2 before going a break up in the fifth game and she had few issues holding her remaining service games afterwards to make it to her second Grand Slam semi-final.

The moment Rybakina beat Ostapenko to reach her first AO semi-final

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