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Coco Gauff v Aryna Sabalenka – Australian Open Semi-final Preview.

On Thursday 25 January, millions of tennis fans across the globe will be eagerly waiting for the Australian Open semi-final clash between Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff.

Coco Gauff

On Thursday 25 January, millions of tennis fans across the globe will be eagerly waiting for the Australian Open semi-final clash between Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff. Both players have lived up to the expectations of reaching this stage as they were tipped before the tournament resumes as the favorites to clinch the prestigious Australian Open title. Sabalenka will fight with everything she has to defend her title. Meanwhile, Gauff is hoping to extend a good run of form in Melbourne. So fans will be treated to the mouthwatering clash.

For quite some time Coco Gauff has been tipped as the next big star on the tennis court. She has shown a big level of maturity and possesses a great talent that made people anticipate her matches. Look like things are unfolding on the right path for her. The 19-year-old American is in great shape, and it has become relatively hard to stop her. She is preparing to face off with Aryna Sabalenka in the titanic battle on Thursday. It no doubt the match is treated by many as the final before the actual final. Coming to Melbourne, Gauff had never progressed past the fourth round of the competition, but it all changed now.

She is into the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time in her career. What is incredible about her run to this stage, is that she has only dropped one set. That came in the last eight match against Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk on Tuesday in a match where she prevailed 7-6, 6-7, 6-2. One would note that Gauff faced a challenging test in that match as she went 1-5 down in the opening set. The nerves seem to get over her inside hot Rod Laver Arena. Despite the nervous start, Gauff settled nicely and showed composure, in the end, to seal the match after three three-hour battles in the court. Nevertheless, Gauff arrived in Australia in full swing having clinched the Auckland Open title where she defeated Elina Svitolina in the final. With 49 victories in the Grand Slams, Gauff ties with Serena Williams for the second-most by American teenager in the Open Era. Only Jennifer Capriati (50) has won more. A win on Thursday will see her equaling the record and has the opportunity to surpass it if she can go all the way to clinch the title.

But the real test awaits as Sabalenka won’t be an easy passage. The 25-year-old Belarusian International has been playing top-class tennis throughout the tournament. She has yet to drop the set in the five matches played so far. Neither in those meetings, she has been forced to play a tie-break. In the meantime, she has shown a dominant play on the verge of defending the title she won last year. On top of Sabalenka’s mind too, there is a desire to get revenge on the opponent. The last time the two players clashed, Gauff recovered from the set down to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the US Open final last year. That loss still gives Sabalenka big thinking on how she failed to wrap the match up on the day.

With all the prominent players like Iga Swiatek, Elena Rybakina, Ons Jabeur, and Victoria Azarenka falling early in the tournament, Sabalenka will be thinking that a win over Gauff gives her approximately 90 percent chance to clinch the title. Before the tournament, she had been in fine form though managing to reach the final of the Brisbane Open losing to Rybakina in the end. That preparation played a vital role in how the competition has in the end rolled out for her. There is not much separating these two athletes when playing on a hard court. In the five meetings, Gauff has a 3-2 advantage over Sabalenka. Last year, they collided twice on hard surfaces with Sabalenka winning in the Indian Wells then Gauff was on top on home soil in the US Open. Overall head-to-head, Gauff leads 4-2 in the six matches they have played against each other. So, history awaits to happen for the two women intending to etch themselves into history books.


Best Bet: Coco Gauff to win at 2.60

Sean Parker is a motorsport journalist and sports content creator at The South African. He has worked for the country's premier motoring publications, and is a Formula 1 contributor to, the Bet Central podcast, and Vision View Sports radio.

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