Coco Gauff at the 2024 Australian Open.

2024 Australian Open Semifinal Preview: Gauff vs. Sabalenka, Yastremska vs. Zheng

Will a familiar star win her second Grand Slam, or is a new face going to stun the tennis world to win the Australian Open this weekend? While Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are still storming through the men's draw, the women's results have been more surprising.

The women’s draw has come down to just four women, and it’s time to preview the match-ups, powered by UTR Sports INSIGHTS, a predictions and analytics tool.

Australian Open Women's Semifinal Match-ups

(4) Coco Gauff (12.97) vs. (2) Aryna Sabalenka (12.88)

It'll be a rematch of the 2023 US Open final, which Gauff won in three sets to hoist her first major trophy. The two have faced off six times, with Gauff leading 4-2, but their only other recent meeting (in the last year) went Sabalenka’s way in Indian Wells.

Gauff has won every singles match this fortnight in straight sets until running into a red-hot Marta Kostyuk in the quarterfinals, where she needed to use her "C game" to survive.

“I think as a player I'm just playing smarter, being more aggressive when I need to be, also not being too aggressive,” Gauff said. “Mentally I think I've just changed the way I approach the game. Coming to it with a more fun approach, more so than a pressure type of thing."

Coco Gauff hits a backhand in Melbourne.

Sabalenka had a much easier time of it in her quarterfinal match-up, easing past Barbora Krejcikova. Experience-wise, Sabalenka has the edge over Gauff, having now reached six Grand Slam semifinals in a row. Gauff has appeared in three quarterfinals and two finals (winning once).

Sabalenka has a slight advantage in Melbourne as the defending champion, so she knows her way around Rod Laver Arena.

Gauff’s UTR Rating is already higher than Sabalenka’s, and her hard-court rating is even higher at 13.03. With WTA Nol. 1 Iga Swiatek knocked out of the tournament by dark horse Linda Noskova, it’s conceivable to expect whoever wins this semifinal match will most likely win the title.

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Aryna Sabalenka blows a kiss in Melbourne Park.

Per INSIGHTS, this match is essentially a toss-up, with Gauff holding a slight 51% edge of winning.

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(Q) Daria Yastremska (12.16) vs. (12) Zheng Qinwen (12.62)

A new Australian Open finalist is guaranteed as qualifier Daria Yastremska (also known as Dayana Yastremska) gets ready for the biggest match of her life against No. 12 seed Zheng Qinwen. Yastremska is the first qualifier since 1978 to reach the Australian Open semifinals.

“It's nice to make a history. It's something new for me and for my generation because the last time it happened it was a long time ago. I wasn't born yet,” Yastremska said. “It's nice. I'm really happy to be in my first semifinals."

Daria Yastremska hits a forehand at the Australian Open.

Yastremska has been on the scene for years, first cracking the Top 100 at just 18 years old, but this marks her biggest Grand Slam breakthrough. The 23-year-old Ukrainian is on an eight-match tear, with wins over Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova, Emma Navarro, and Victoria Azarenka. She booked her place in the Australian Open semifinals with a straight-sets win over Linda Noskova.

Zheng hits a backhand on her way to the Australian Open semifinals.

Meanwhile, Zheng was named WTA Newcomer of the Year in 2022, won two titles in 2023, and is ranked inside of the Top 15 on the WTA Tour. She's the youngest Chinese player in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam semifinal, though she did first appear in the US Open quarterfinal last year. The 21-year-old has yet to face a seeded opponent. In her quarterfinal, she dropped the opener against Anna Kalinskaya before storming to victory.

According to INSIGHTS, Zheng is heaviily favored at 75% odds of appearing in Saturday’s final. Her UTR Ratings are superior, including three-month trending and hard-court rating. The semifinals will be their first career meeting.

Stay tuned for the men's Australian Open semifinal preview, which will feature Novak Djokovic against Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev versus Alexander Zverev. Tennis Australia has got to be happy with that lineup as the Australian Open tennis championship races towards the finish line.

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