While one women’s semifinal match is completely expected at the Australian Open, this one is quite the shocker. Everyone was looking forward to Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who predicted this matchup pre-tournament. And that’s okay. It does mean that we’re going to get a first-time Grand Slam finalist here, though. But who will it be? Our writers share their thoughts. Predicting this match are Jordan Reynolds, Tope Oke, Damian Kust, Shane Black, and Yesh Ginsburg. Who do you think will reach the final?

Australian Open women’s Semifinal Predictions

Qinwen Zheng vs Dayana Yastremska

Jordan:
What an incredible opportunity for both players to reach a first Grand Slam final. Each player showed their powerful hitting in their respective quarterfinals, and this should be a great contest to watch. I am backing Yastremska to emulate Emma Raducanu and make the final as a qualifier. Linda Noskova hit her groundstrokes with quite a lot of spin against her in the quarterfinal, and she thrived off that. I think that could make Zheng’s topspin forehand attackable if Yastremska can get into the rallies.
Prediction: Yastremska in 3

Tope:
Two right-handed baseliners play in their first-ever Grand Slam semi-final and the Rod Laver Arena will host what promises to be a mouth-watering affair.

What Yastremska lacks in her service game, she gains in her superb groundstrokes and she unleashed them against a hapless Linda Noskova in the quarters to become the first women’s qualifier in almost 50 years to make it this far in Melbourne.

Qinwen Zheng has seemingly had an easier route to this stage, facing no seeded player so far. However, she has unleashed more aces and committed the least unforced errors in what has been a disciplined performance by the Chinese youngster.

This showdown will be the first ever between the two and it promises to be as explosive as they come. Tough to call, but either the Ukrainian finishes her opponent off in two or the Chinese mounts a comeback. I’ll go with the former.
Prediction: Yastremska in 2

Damian:
The matchup isn’t that good for Zheng and could kind of work for her like the one with Sabalenka. She doesn’t like getting the first strike taken away from her and when Kalinskaya did that at first in the semifinals, it was because of her early timing. With Yastremska it’s more about the heavier ball and that’s probably even worse. But Zheng has been great at not letting the pressure get to her so far and I trust her to make the necessary adjustments again.
Prediction: Zheng in 3

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Shane:
We should be in for a treat as both players will step on the court as first-time Slam semifinalists. The paths to this point have been much different. Zheng has not faced a Top 50 player in her five matches, whereas Yastremska has only beaten Top 50 players in her main draw matches (on top of three qualifying victories). I thought the extra time on-court would affect the 23-year-old Ukranian’s fitness in her quarterfinal match, but she seems fresh and ready to compete for a title. When firing on all cylinders, Zheng has the baseline firepower advantage. That said, the Chinese has looked vulnerable in Melbourne. Give me the battle-tested Yastremska to find a way in a decider.
Prediction: Yastremska in 3

Yesh:
It took Yastremska a few years after her later-overturned provisional doping suspension, but she is finally back up to top speed and competing where many saw her reaching when she first burst on to the scene. Her powerful game is tough to keep up with, and I don’t think that Qinwen Zheng can really do it. The Chinese rising superstar is powerful herself and also brilliant at problem-solving around the court, but too much power is too much power. I think Yastremska has this.
Prediction: Yastremska in 2

Main Photo Credit: Angela Wilhelm USAToday Sports Syndication: Asheville Citizen-Times

Akash Mahi, a dedicated enthusiast of the game, is a recognized expert in the domain of tennis balls. With a keen understanding of materials and aerodynamics, he has contributed to the evolution of tennis ball design, enhancing playability and performance. Mahi's expertise continues to impact both casual players and professionals alike.