Dayana Yastremska is in the Adelaide International semifinals with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Donna Vekic. The 19-year old reached a Premier-level semifinal for the first time on the strength of 23 winners and seven aces to set up a meeting with sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka for a spot in Saturday's final.
Ukrainian sensation blisters Vekic to clinch last four berth
If the first point was any indication, a winner off of a let cord, then it was clear this was to be Yastremska's day. She closed out the game with an ace. Neither player was challenged again on serve until the seventh game, when the Ukrainian was twice taken to deuce only to escape further trouble with some solid work off of the ground.
Yastremska made her move in the tenth game leading 5-4. At 15-40, she played some solid defense and forced Vekic to commit a forehand error to seal an opening set that saw the world number 23 hit 11 winners to only four unforced errors. It was important for the Croatian to keep up with the 19-year old as the second set began and she did that, matching Yastremska hold for hold.
Despite seeing a pair of aces fly by her in the third game, Vekic was still on serve and that continued through the first seven games, although the world number 19 was ahead 15-30 in the sixth game and also got to deuce only to see more powerful forehands blow by her to give Yastremska a 4-3 edge.
With Vekic serving at 15-30, the Ukrainian used her backhand to crush a first-ball winner down the line to bring up two break points. She only needed one as the Croatian dumped a forehand into the net to give Yastremska a 5-3 lead and the chance to serve out the match. An ace set up 40-15 and on her first chance, the first serve-and-volley point of the match closed out a magnificent performance from the three-time WTA titlist.