January 25, 2024

Australian Open 2024 LIVE updates: Zverev stuns Alcaraz in race to semi-final; Aussies in doubles, juniors action; Gauff takes on Sabalenka

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Sabalenka wins it

Sabalenka is into the women’s final after a two-set win over Coco Gauff.

The No.2 seed missed her first chance at the match after Gauff came up with a winner but she made sure of it on the second chance.

That’s back to back finals for the 2023 champion.

Aryna Sabalenka.Credit: Eddie Jim


Sabalenka will serve for the match

Sabalenka has the break and it has come at the perfect time.

She sent a deep return which Gauff could only hit out.

Sabalenka will be serving for the match and a place in the final at 7-6, 5-4 in the second set.

Aryna Sabalenka.Credit: Getty Images


Second set pushing along

We are still on serve in the second set despite a couple of scares.

Sabalenka had to summon a couple of superb winners to make sure of her win in the last game.

It’s 4-4 with Gauff serving at present.

Coco Gauff.Credit: AP


Gauff smashes home service game

What is more unpredictable – Coco’s serve or Melbourne’s weather?

I can’t separate them when it comes to that question.

Gauff has just smashed her service game and won it to love against Sabalenka who may as well have sat and had a rest as the serves were too good.

But Gauff has also eight double faults tonight.

It’s 3-2 to Gauff in the second set with Sabalenka serving.

Coco Gauff.Credit: Getty Images


Chainsaws, lion’s roars and bagpipe wails: The grunts that split the tennis world

By Jewel Topsfield and Scott Spits

Unnnngh! When Alexander Zverev saw red over Alex de Minaur grunting during a United Cup clash last weekend, it reignited one of the oldest debates in tennis. Zverev, the world No. 6 player, complained to the umpire that the emphatic grunt he heard as he attempted to return a shot had disrupted his play.

“That’s 100 per cent a hindrance,” opined commentator and former world No.1 player Jim Courier. However, the umpire didn’t believe it warranted a penalty: “His grunt was longer than usual … [but] no it wasn’t [a hindrance].”

Aryna Sabalenka.Credit: Eddie Jim

In the gladiatorial world of the tennis court, there are several ways to rattle your opponent: taking too long for a toilet break, calling for a medical time-out or simply taking too long to serve.

But there are few more controversial topics in tennis than the grunt. Noisy vocal emissions have long been the bugbear of some players, tennis fans and commentators.

Grunting, groaning and shrieking has been compared to everything from a chainsaw to the wail of strangled bagpipes to a lion’s roar. Is grunting a tactical weapon to distract your opponent or an involuntary physiological response to exertion? When is a grunt a hindrance?

Click here to read the story.


Gauff wins marathon first game

The first game of the second set had it all as both players traded winners for errors or vice versa.

Gauff’s cut a frustrated figure after a double fault, her eighth so far tonight.

But she recovered to nail a couple of winners and make it 1-0 in the second set with Sabalenka to serve.

Coco Gauff.Credit: Eddie Jim


Sabalenka wins first set

Sabalenka has won a wild, error-filled first set but who knows who will win this match.

Both players have swapped brilliant for bewildering, sometimes from one shot to the next.

But Sabalenka has the all important stat – a set to her name.

One more and she will be into the final.

Aryna Sabalenka.Credit: AP


Sabalenka in command

Sabalenka took a 4-0 lead in the tiebreak as Gauff had a fall, missed a couple of attempts at winners and generally looked in some trouble.

She won a point against Sabalenka’s serve but then was powerless to stop a thundering forehand winner.

It’s 5-1 on the change.


We are heading to a tiebreak

It seems fair to decide this chaotic set via a tiebreak as both players had their chances to win the set and both missed those opportunities.

The error rate is high but so is the number of clear winners – often it is one or the other.

Sabalenka will serve first in the tiebreak.

Coco Gauff.Credit: Getty Images


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