Follow live updates from the Australian Open women’s semi-finals as world number one Ashleigh Barty faces Madison Keys for a place in Saturday’s final. Barty, the Wimbledon champion and tournament favourite, is aiming to become the first Australian since 1978 to win her home Grand Slam and the 25-year-old has yet to drop a set in reaching the final four.
In doing so, she has taken out Americans in Amanda Anisimova and Jessica Pegula and faces another today in the unseeded Keys, who is aiming to reach a Grand Slam final for the first time since the US Open in 2017. “Madi 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. “It’s about trying to put her in an uncomfortable position, try and get her off-balance, because if she controls the centre of the court, the match is on her racket.”
In the second semi-final to take place on Rod Laver Arena, Iga Swiatek faces another American in Danielle Collins. Swiatek, the seventh seed from Poland and the 2020 French Open champion, defeated Kaia Kanepi in the previous round while Collins beat Alize Cornet. Follow live updates below:
Australian Open – Day 11
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis into men’s doubles final
Australian Open 2022 – Friday order of play
Barty faces Keys in first semi-finals at 8:30am GMT
Swiatek plays Collins in second semi-final no earlier than 10:00am GMT
Australian Open: Barty 2-0 Keys*
08:54 , Jamie Braidwood
An opening ace from Barty is another ominous sign for Keys and a forehand long and backhand into the net from the American brings up 40-0 on the Australian’s serve.
Barty produces a stunning second serve up the middle which Keys cannot return, and that seals the opening hold to love.
Australian Open: *Barty 1-0 Keys – Barty breaks!
08:52 , Jamie Braidwood
Keys makes a confident start – driving a forehand winner down the line and moving to 30-0 after Barty nets on a first serve. The Australian gets on the board as she gets into the rally following a backhand slice and upping the tempo with a forehand. Keys then nets to bring up 30-30, but Barty nets on the forehand.
We go to deuce as Keys goes long on the forehand but the American finds a big first serve – only for Barty to edge the next point following a lengthy rally.
Good depth from Keys forces Barty long on the backhand – but the Australian clips the line with a backhand slice and Keys nets. This is already turning into an epic opening game.
Barty then strikes with a forehand crosscourt into the corner – before Keys draws her short and Barty puts it away with another forehand crosscourt winner to seal the opening break!
Australian Open: Barty vs Keys
08:40 , Jamie Braidwood
A relaxed Ashleigh Barty follows Madison Keys as the players make their way onto Rod Laver – it should be a cracking atmosphere as the home crowd roar on the world number one.
Barty is aiming to become the first Australian women to reach the Australia Open final since 1980 – but she will want to go one step further than that and end the 42-year wait for a home champion.
Keys wins the toss and elects to serve first.
What’s it like to face Barty? ‘You feel pretty helpless’
08:29 , Jamie Braidwood
After Ashleigh Barty continued her run to the Australian Open semi-finals with a dominant 6-2 6-0 win over Jessica Pegula, the American opened her press conference with a revelation on how dominant the world number one has been.
“I think we’ve seen her do that to a lot of people. Unfortunately, I was a victim tonight to that,” Pegula said. “There wasn’t much I could do. I think she’s definitely living in everyone’s head a little bit. She’s figured it out… mentally and physically with her game.
“She has the confidence right now where I think she feels like she can go out there and kind of chop anybody up when she’s playing really well.
“You feel pretty helpless. I think that she really, when she gets into a rhythm, she can run away, Her game just kind of picks you apart a little bit, and it can be really frustrating because you don’t feel like you can get a lot of free points.”
Madison Keys back on form as she eyes Grand Slam final return
08:19 , Jamie Braidwood
Madison Keys won just 11 matches on the WTA tour last season – she’s already won as many in 2022 as she reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time since the French Open in 2018.
The American is aiming to make it to a first Grand Slam final since she was defeated in the US Open by Sloane Stephens in an all-American final in 2017.
She has the power to take on Barty at her own game, too. While Barty leads the field with 35 aces, Keys is second with 30 so far.
Alcott defeated in men’s quad wheelchair final
08:05 , Jamie Braidwood
Dylan Alcott’s professional tennis career ended in defeat in the final of the men’s quad wheelchair, but the Australian was still given a memorable reception on Rod Laver Arena.
The newly crowned Australian of the Year was defeated 7-5 6-0 by rival Sam Schroder.
‘Special Ks’ Kyrgios and Kokkinakis just want to have fun
07:45 , Jack Rathborn
The “Special Ks” Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis insist their fairytale run to the men’s doubles final is all about having fun.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis defeated third-seeded pair of Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentine Horacio Zeballos 7-6(4) 6-4 in front of a capacity crowd at the Rod Laver Arena, with compatriots Max Purcell and Matt Ebden in their way from a Grand Slam title.
“It sounds stupid, but winning has been our second priority every time,” Kokkinakis told reporters. “We hope to have fun, enjoy ourselves, enjoy our time on court. Hopefully they (crowd) feel like they’ve paid good money to watch us.”
And Kokkinakis added that he carefully approaches his game on the court with Kyrgios so as to allow his partner to thrive.
“I try to be a steady head out there for him,” said Kokkinakis. “Also don’t want to take away that energy and that fire because I think that’s what makes Nick, Nick.”
While Kyrgios said his goal was to bring new fans to tennis.
“If they flick on a match and they have Thanasi and I playing in an entertaining doubles match, they know nothing about tennis, if they watch that match just then, they probably would tune in next time,” he said.
“That’s what I’m about. That’s what I want to bring. I think that’s how the sport is going to survive.”
Nadal’s quest for history appeals amid sense of Medvedev’s growing aura
07:36 , Jack Rathborn
Of all the campaign speeches Daniil Medvedev could have given after advancing to the Australian Open semi-finals, “Be like Novak” was perhaps an ill-advised selection. The reference to men’s world number one Djokovic, and the ensuing boos, was a jarring reminder of all the controversy and drama that dominated the build-up to the opening Grand Slam of the year, and which had largely been left behind once the on-court action began.
Djokovic’s absence threatened to cast a shadow over the men’s tournament but the void has been filled by two weeks of gruelling, competitive and largely unpredictable matches, resulting in a final four and two semi-finals of the highest, available, order. All four semi-finalists, Medvedev, Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini, have survived five-set epics in the second week. There are sure to be more to come.
Medvedev’s duel with Felix Auger-Aliassime on Wednesday was the latest case in point: a thrilling battle over four hours and 42 minutes which saw momentum swings and a magnificent comeback from two sets and match point down. The world number two, and tournament favourite, was staring down the barrel of elimination when he summoned inspiration from Djokovic, as well as, it should be said, Roger Federer and Nadal.
Australian Open 2022 – Friday order of play
07:30 , Jack Rathborn
Order of play on the main showcourt on the 12th day of the Australian Open on Friday (play begins at 0100 GMT; prefix number denotes seeding):
ROD LAVER ARENA
Mixed doubles final
Jaimee Fourlis (Australia)/ Jason Kubler (Australia) v 5-Kristina Mladenovic (France)/ Ivan Dodig (Croatia)
Not before 0330 GMT
Men’s singles semi-finals
7-Matteo Berrettini (Italy) v 6-Rafa Nadal (Spain)
Not before 0830 GMT
4-Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) v 2-Daniil Medvedev (Russia)
Medvedev eyes history with back-to-back Grand Slams
07:16 , Jack Rathborn
Daniil Medvedev can become the first man in the Open era to win a second major immediately after claiming his first following his 2021 U.S. Open success.
“If it’s true, then it will be history. It’s perfect,” the Russian said.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, who will face Medvedev in Friday’s other last-four clash, would become the first Greek to win a Grand Slam should he lift the trophy.
“I’m headed towards the right direction and things look good for me so far,” Tsitsipas, the youngest of the four semi-finalists at 23, said. “And, well, with the right mindset and with the right attitude and with the right development throughout the tournament, my chances are pretty good.”
Nadal not motivated by passing Djokovic and Federer
07:15 , Jack Rathborn
An Australian Open that began with an unprecedented saga involving reigning champion Novak Djokovic will finish with a historic flourish on Sunday with all four men’s semi-finalists having the chance to write their names into the record books.
Should 2009 champion Rafa Nadal win the Australian Open for a second time the Spaniard will become the first man to claim 21 Grand Slam titles, nosing ahead of great rivals Djokovic and Roger Federer.
The 35-year-old has said he is more motivated by the love of playing than finishing ahead of Djokovic and Federer.
“I don’t believe that my happiness, my future happiness, is (going to) depend on if I achieve one more Grand Slam than the others or if the others achieve more Grand Slams than me,” he said after his quarter-final win on Tuesday.
Matteo Berrettini, who will play Nadal in the first semi-final on Friday, is seeking to become the first Italian to win the Australian Open.
“I like to think that I’m writing a little bit (of) Italian tennis history. We are a great country for tennis,” he said.
Kyrgios and Kokkinakis into the Australian Open men’s doubles final
07:12 , Jack Rathborn
Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis have eased into the Australian Open men’s final with a 7-6(4) 6-4 victory over Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.
The unseeded Australian pair have never been in a doubles final in their careers and they will contest the title against compatriots Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell.
“I’ve played a lot of singles matches around the globe with amazing atmospheres but this week with Thanasi. Nothing beats this, this has been insane,” Kyrgios said.
Kokkinakis said: “It’s all about the crowd, the atmosphere. That is what gets us going. We worry about the tennis second. We would not have had this result anywhere else it’s sick.
“Both of us bring something different. A different energy, a different charisma on the court. We just enjoy it and have fun. I think we’re unpredictable and that’s why the crowd enjoy it.”