Aryna Sabalenka set up a semi-final with surprise-package Magda Linette on Wednesday at the Australian Open, where Novak Djokovic will later step up his bid for a 22nd Grand Slam title.

Belarusian Sabalenka looks red-hot favourite to win her first major crown after another ruthless display in defeating Croatia’s Donna Vekic 6-3, 6-2 at Rod Laver Arena.

Fifth-seeded Sabalenka is the highest remaining seed left in a women’s draw that has been upended by shocks.

The match was closer than the score suggested, but Sabalenka is in scintillating form — she is yet to drop a set in Melbourne and has won all nine matches in 2023.

It is a far cry from a year ago, when she struggled badly with her serve and was reduced to tears at an Australian Open warm-up tournament.

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