The last four women in the running for the 2023 Australian Open final are Aryna Sabalenka , wild card Magda Linette , a resurgent two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka , and Elena Rybakina .
Aryna Sabalenka 
Sabalenka, 24, is the most powerful player left in the draw, but power is not the only weapon in the Belorussian’s armoury. She is unbeaten in 2023 and has yet to drop a set. Although she has won two Grand Slam titles, they have both been in doubles, and she is still searching for a first singles title.
Sabalenka was a semi-finalist at the 2021 Wimbledon tournament; and earned consecutive semi-final spots at the US Open in 2021 and 2022. She has often beaten herself by an outpouring of negative emotions on court, but she has revealed she is understanding much more about how to control herself.
“Finally, I understand what everyone was looking for and asking for,” Sabalenka told the official Australian Open website.
“I need to be a little bit boring on court. I mean, it’s still about a lot of positive emotions for me, but I’m trying to stay away from negative and just fight for every point.
“I think, like, there were a few moments when I was about to throw my racquet or scream something, and because I hold myself really strong in (those) moments, after that right now I feel like it’s a little bit more natural.” A controlled Sabalenka looks good for the title.
Elena Rybakina 
Rybakina, the reigning Wimbledon champion, has accounted for Iga Swiatek’s ouster, and that must be worth noting.
“I kind of knew what to expect on these big courts,” she revealed after ousting Swiatek. “And I just tried to do my best and tried to focus on my serve. A few games were not really successful on my serve, but in the end, I think I did a good job.
“For sure when you play against No.1, I think you have really nothing to lose,” Rybakina added.
“I knew that I had to be aggressive from the first ball because she’s a great mover, and she defends really well. So I was trying to just attack her from the first ball, and it really worked well.”
Victoria Azarenka 
This is a resurgent Azarenka, who is playing excellent tennis in Melbourne. The 33-year-old mother of one has won two Grand Slam titles-two Australian Open titles in 2012 and 2013. The former world No.1 has been on tour since 2003 has won $34,927,538 in prize money.
The hard-hitting baseliner has dropped two sets on her way to the last eight and she had to stave off imminent defeat in the third round against Madison Keys. After coming from a 1-6 in the first game to pull through by taking the last two sets 6-2 6-1, she said, “I couldn’t get into my rhythm.
Now just two matches from another Grand Slam title; Azarenka says she cannot overthink the moment. “Thinking about winning, I mean, it’s there obviously, kind of flying around. I don’t really want to take my mind there.
“I just really want to focus on something that works for me, that keeps me focused, that keeps me, I want to stay calm, just keeps me at peace. I think that is a very important part for me, to be at peace.”
Magda Linette 
The 30-year-old wild card has nothing to lose when she comes up against Sabalenka on Thursday, even though she has never beaten the Belorussian.
“My last encounter [with Sabalenka] wasn’t the best at the Olympics,” Linette revealed to the tournament’s website. So, I think I have a really big room there, because it obviously can’t be any worse than the last one.
“I will just try what I’m doing this whole week. I’m being very consistent, returning really well, and keeping my serves.
“I will try to do my best on the return, and I have been doing that pretty well in the last two matches, especially when the opponent was kind of similar.” It looks like an onerous task, but on the evidence of what the Pole has achieved this week, it is possible.
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