Victoria Azarenka will have at least her countrywoman Aryna Sabalenka in her corner when she steps onto Rod Laver Arena tonight.
Azarenka is looking to make her first final at Melbourne Park in a decade, after lifting the title here in 2012 and 2013 when she was on top of the tennis world.
No grand slams have come since.
She lost US Open finals in those years and again in 2020 but Sabalenka wants Azarenka to get there so she can hopefully set up the chance of an historic all-Belarusian final.
Speaking about the prospect of facing Azarenka in the Melbourne final, Sabalenka said: “It would be history and be unbelievable.
“I really want it to happen. I know that Vika will do everything she can to make it happen. I will do everything I can to make it happen.”
For it to be a chance Azarenka will have to blunt the raw power of Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
The Russian-born Kazakh has been serving incredibly well this tournament and claimed the big scalps of world number one Iga Swiatek and last year’s runner-up Danielle Collins.
Azarenka too has claimed big victories, knocking off top 10-ranked Americans Madison Keys and Jessica Pegula in impressive fashion.
Rybakina leads 1-0
2022 Indian Wells (hard) Rybakina def Azarenka 6-3, 6-4
ROAD TO THE SEMIS – AZARENKA
- Rd 1 def Kenin (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/3)
- Rd 2 def Podoroska (ARG) 6-1, 6-0
- Rd 3 def 10 Keys (USA) 1-6, 6-2, 6-1
- Rd 4 def Zhu (CHN) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
- QF def 3 Pegula (USA) 6-4, 6-1
ROAD TO THE SEMIS – RYBAKINA
- Rd 1 def Cocciaretto (ITA) 7-5, 6-3
- Rd 2 def Juvan (SLV) 6-2, 6-1
- Rd 3 def 13 Collins (USA) 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
- Rd 4 def 1 Swiatek (POL) 6-4, 6-4
- QF def 17 Ostapenko (LAT) 6-2, 6-4