Magda Linette vs Aryna Sabalenka predictions: Belarusian could bulldoze her way to final
- This is the fourth Grand Slam semi-final in the career of Aryna Sabalenka
- Sabalenka has yet to drop a set at this year’s Australian Open
- Sabalenka has won both previous meetings with Magda Linette 2-0
- Recommended bet: Aryna Sabalenka to win 2-0
Aryna Sabalenka is the only top-20 woman to have made the last four of this year’s Australian Open and the Belarusian should be confident she can secure a first Grand Slam title ahead of her match against Magda Linette.
Sabalenka has long been talked-up as a future major winner and this looks like a gilt-edged opportunity for the world No5, who faces non-seeded player Magda Linette in her semi-final showdown.
The 24-year-old has been beaten in her three previous Grand Slam semi-final appearances but that experience could be put to good use against Linette, who had never previously gone beyond the third round of the Australian Open in six main-draw attempts.
The 30-year-old Pole came into this tournament as the world number 46 but has defied the odds spectacularly, beating four-seeded players to book her semi-final ticket.
Power-packed Sabalenka tough to stop
Sabalenka arrived at the Australian Open in winning form, having taken a warm-up title in Adelaide, and the Belarusian has carried that success with her into Melbourne Park.
The Minsk-born star won all four of her Adelaide assignments in straight sets and has also recorded five straight-set victories at the Australian Open.
Sabalenka has dropped only 26 games across her five wins, an average of 5.2 per match, with her hard-hitting style often overwhelming her opponents, including world No12 Belinda Bencic and 26th seed Elise Mertens.
When on song, Sabalenka is difficult to live with as she serves lots of aces and smashes plenty of winners, something that should strike fear into Linette.
Sabalenka already has 11 titles to her name on the WTA Tour and it is only a matter of time until she is crowned a Grand Slam champion.
Dream run may come to an end
Many people may have been expecting a Polish player to be competing in the semi-final of the Australian Open but world No1 Iga Swiatek would have been a more popular prediction than Linette.
However, Linette has been brilliant in Melbourne and has produced a number of career-best performances to tee up the biggest match of her life.
She has overcome four seeded players on her dream journey to the semi-final, dropping just one set and defeating Anett Kontaveit, Ekaterina Alexandrova, Caroline Garcia and Karolina Pliskova.
Only once in her six wins has Linette been sent off the favourite and she will be written off by the bookmakers again in her showdown with Sabalenka.
However, she has recorded only four wins against top-10 players during her career, so her luck may run out against the Belarusian, especially if her levels drop as the pressure understandably intensifies.
Sabalenka has won all nine of her matches in straight so far in 2023 and another 2-0 win could be on the cards against Linette, who is set to embark on the biggest match of her career.
The Belarusian, who is 40 places above Linette in the world rankings, is a confidence player and when things are going smoothly she has proven extremely tough to thwart.
This is Sabalenka’s fourth semi-final from her last six Grand Slam tournaments, which suggests she is edging closer to a maiden major, while Linette had never gone beyond the third round of a Slam prior to her heroics in Australia.
That should give Sabalenka the edge, especially as she ought to adapt to the occasion quicker, and she has won both previous meetings with Linette in straight sets.
With a fast start expected from Sabalenka, she can stamp her authority on this semi-final contest and record a 2-0 win.