It’s women’s semifinal day at Melbourne Park with American Madison Keys taking on top-ranked Aussie Ash Barty and another US player, Danielle Collins, playing 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek.
The winners will meet in a Saturday night championship match.
Barty is attempting to become the first Australian woman in 44 years to win the Australian singles title.
The reigning Wimbledon and 2019 French Open champion holds a 2-1 career edge over Keys, including a win the last time they played in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in ’19, but she’s wary of the American’s array of shots.
“Maddie is an exceptional athlete, she has a great serve, great first strike off the return and off her first ball after her serve,” Barty said.
“A lot of the time it’s about trying to put her in an uncomfortable position.”
Keys enters the semifinals on a 10 match winning streak and 11 overall this year, matching her entire win total from 2021.
Keys won the Adelaide International tournament earlier this month and has another five wins so far at Melbourne Park.
Keys, who reached her first Australian Open semifinal as a teenager in 2015, said: “I’m a little bit more prepared this time around than I was all those years ago.”
Collins has tied her best previous performance at Melbourne Park — she reached the semifinals in 2019, her previous best Grand Slam result.
Meanwhile, Daniil Medvedev has admitted to mimicking Felix Auger-Aliassime’s distinctive grunt during his epic Australian Open quarterfinal win.
The Russian tournament favourite prevailed in five sets in the early hours of the morning and was booed by sections of the crowd after revealing he was channeling Novak Djokovic in the pressure moments.
The quirky world No.2 – who has seemingly taken and embraced Djokovic’s mantle as an AO villain – was then asked by a journalist if he had been “mimicking” Auger-Aliassime’s “unique” grunt when trading shots at Rod Laver Arena.
“To be honest, in life, I think that’s my character, like when I talk to a person a lot, so when I have a best friend or wife, they get nervous because I start to be like them in many things and I do it not on purpose,” Medvedev replied.
“That’s just how I am. Same, as I say, if I have a new friend and I’ll talk to him a lot, I’ll start to do some phrases like him. I’ll start to sometimes act like him and he’s going to be like: ‘what the hell, man? why you doing that?’