Tennis: Lionhearted Linette falls at penultimate hurdle in Australian Open

Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Magda Linette was defeated by Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka 6:7 (1-7), 2:6. in the semi-final of the Australian Open. The Polish player has been one of the revelations of this year's Grand Slam, upsetting the odds by reaching the last four.

The Polish came quickly out of the blocks in the opening set with a break and a 2:0 lead. However, the powerful Belarusian broke back to make it 2:2. After that both players held their nerves on their serve up until 6:6. But it was Sabalenka who dominated the tie-break, winning 7:1.

Linette showed resolve in the second set, but with each point that passed the Belarusian exerted more control over the match. Linette eventually went down 2:6.

Sabalenka will play against Kazakhstan's Jelena Rybakina in the final. She defeated Victoria Azarenka in the other semi-final and had earlier eliminated Polish and world number one Iga Świątek.

Poland has one last player competing in Melbourne, Pole Jan Zielinski and his doubles partner Monaco's Hugo Nys, defeated Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin 6:3, 5:7, 6:2 to reach the final of the men’s doubles.