An in-form Victoria Azarenka is hoping to step back in the time machine to 10 years ago, where she won back-to-back Australian Open trophies.
The 2012 and 2013 winner has dropped just two sets so far in this tournament and has beaten strong opponents including American trio Jessica Pegula, Madison Keys and Sofia Kenin.
However, her opponent, Elena Rybakina, is equally good on the court, dropping one set in five matches so far.
The Kazakh beat world No.1 Iga Swiatek in the fourth round as well as Danielle Collins and Jelena Ostapenko.
Azarenka will be hoping to add a third victory at Melbourne Park to her name as Rybakina looks to build on her victory at Wimbledon in 2022.
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Odds Elena Rybakina vs Victoria Azarenka
|Earn||United States (BetMGM)||United Kingdom (Skybet)||Australia (sports betting)|
|Propagate||United States (BetMGM)||United Kingdom (Skybet)||Australia (sports betting)|
|Elena Rybakina (-3.5 games)||1.89|
|Victoria Azarenka (+3.5 games)||1.87|
Elena Rybakina vs Victoria Azarenka form and betting trends
Rybakina starts the match as a heavy favorite after some outstanding performances at the Australian Open so far.
The Kazakh beat world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, 13th seed Danielle Collins and an in-form Jelena Ostapenko.
The 23-year-old can also draw a lot of confidence from Wimbledon 2022 after winning the crown.
Ironically, Rybakina is the second-highest seed in the Melbourne Park tournament, behind fifth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka.
The semi-finalist will gain a lot of confidence in this match against Azarenka, especially since she beat her at the Indian Wells Masters in 2022.
However, the experienced and former Australian Open champion won’t be easy to beat.
Azarenka is at his career best at 33, knocking out some big names over the past nine days.
Americans Jessica Pegula, Madison Keys and Sofia Kenin all fell victim to the Belarusian’s tennis prowess as she qualified for the last four Grand Slams.
Azarenka also reached the quarter-finals of Adelaide International 1, the semi-final of the Guadalajara Open in October last year and the round of 16 of the US Open in 2022.
The two-time Slam winner has prepared for a full fortnight of tennis and is on track for a third Australian Open title, if she gets past Rybakina.
Results of the confrontations between Elena Rybakina and Victoria Azarenka
The pair have only met once, with Rybakina claiming victory at the Indian Wells Masters last year.
|2022||Elena Rybakina||6-3 6-4||Indian Well Masters||round of 16|
FOLLOWING: Australian Open 2023 schedule: Full draws, TV coverage, channels and how to watch every tennis match
Elena Rybakina vs Victoria Azarenka preview and prediction
Rybakina becomes an Australian Open finalist.
The youngster has been clear at the top of the last four and would expect the semi-final to be no different.
Obviously, with a lot more at stake, the stakes have risen considerably, but it’s nothing Rybakina isn’t used to.
Azarenka will be a tough opponent, especially when in control of the backline, but the Kazakh has plenty of weapons in her arsenal.
She will take huge confidence in her last three tennis matches and claim victory against the Belarusian in 2022.
Azarenka’s form will not go unnoticed and she will fight hard, but will not have the chance to become a three-time Australian Open winner.
Prediction: Rybakina in three sets.
What time is Elena Rybakina vs Victoria Azarenka?
Timings are approximate – subject to weather conditions and completion of previous matches.
|Date||Thursday January 25||Thursday January 25||Thursday January 25||Thursday January 25|
|Time||8:30 a.m. BST||3:30 a.m. ET||3:30 a.m. ET||7:30 p.m. EDT|
How to watch Elena Rybakina vs. Victoria Azarenka in the Australian Open semi-finals
|TV channel||Eurosport 1 or 2||ESPN/ESPN2||TSN1/TSN5||Channel 9|
|Streaming||eurosport.fr||ESPN+ and fuboTV||TSN+||9Now/Stan Sport|
Australia: The New network is the free-to-air broadcaster of the Australian Open 2023.
The Australian Open can also be watched on SmartTV’s 9Now and Stan Sport as well as 9Gem.
Fans can also stream the Australian Open through 9Now and Stan Sport.
UK: Coverage of the Australian Open 2023 will be shown in the UK live and exclusively on Eurosport.
Eurosport 1 and 2 will provide daily coverage of the action in Melbourne.
UK fans can also stream the Australian Open via the Discovery+ app, the Eurosport app or via eurosport.co.uk
UNITED STATES: US-based tennis fans will be able to watch this year’s Australian Open via ESPN. Matches will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN2.
Both ESPN+ and fuboTV will offer live streaming during the Australian Open 2023. FuboTV offers a free trial.
Canada: The Australian Open 2023 will be broadcast in Canada by TSN.
Games will be broadcast on TSN1 or TSN5.
Canadian fans can stream the action live from Melbourne Park on TSN+.
The full TSN+ broadcast schedule can be accessed here.