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  • Sabalenka previously lost out to Gauff in the final of the US Open in New York 

Aryna Sabalenka is one match away from sealing back-to-back Australian Open victories after despatching Coco Gauff 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 on Thursday evening. 

The Belarusian world No 2 only needed two sets to defeat the 19-year-old US Open winner, despite an early wobble which saw her squander a 5-2 lead in the opening set. 

Taking the set to a tiebreaker, Sabalenka shored up her footing in the second set at 4-4 with a crucial break of Gauff’s serve to see out the semi-final. 

Sabalenka and Gauff last met in the final at Flushing Meadows last year, with the 25-year-old taking the teenager the distance, but ultimately losing 6-2 3-6 2-6. 

More to follow.  

Aryna Sabalenka comes within striking distance of consecutive Australian Open championships after straight-sets despatch of US Open foe Coco Gauff

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