Donna Vekic was no match for the in-form Aryna Sabalenka in the women's quarter-final at the Australian Open, but the Croatian star didn't help herself after a horror serving meltdown. Sabalenka has continued her charge to a maiden grand slam title after a hard-fought 6-3, 6-2 win in warm Melbourne conditions.
Sabalenka proved too much from the back of the court as her power-hitting threw Vekic off balance throughout the match. However, Vekic didn't help herself during the match after suffering a horror service day.
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The Croatian served 13 double faults across the two sets, nine came in the first set. Vekic hadn't served more than nine double faults since Washington in 2022.
To make matters worse, Sabalenka also served nine double faults. The Belarusian has struggled with her serve in recent years, but has worked on her game this year. Sabalenka's strong serving has helped surge into the semi-final.
However, Sabalenka appeared to feel the heat and the nerves in the quarter as she offered Vekic a way back into the match. Vekic wasn't able to take advantage and was swept away on Rod Laver Arena.
Fans were quick to point out the serving horror show on Wednesday with many pointing out that tennis great Pam Shriver would have been disappointed in Vekic's player's box.
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Sabalenka is now unbeaten in nine matches this year after winning the Adelaide International title. She has set up a match with Polish star Magda Linette.
The Polish veteran continued her incredible run on Wednesday. The unseeded 30-year-old caused another huge upset, beating former World No.1 Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 7-5.
Sabalenka has been in career-best form in Australia and will fancy her chances to reach a maiden Australian Open final in 2023. She will be facing the Polish ace that has never reached a semi-final of a slam, but is in good form.
"I remember the last two matches she won (at the Tokyo Olympics and last year in San Diego)," said Sabalenka. "It's 's a good thing I didn't think about 1-5. Now it is 2-5.
"(Vekic) is a great player and it is tough to play against her. I was kind of expecting this game from her. I was able to stay in the game, no matter what."
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