Ashleigh Barty, Iga Świątek: Australian Open semi-finalists guarantee first-time winner

Iga Swiatek, Ash Barty at Australian Open 2022

This year’s Australian Open semi-finalists are now confirmed and there is guaranteed to be a first-time winner of the competition.

There were comfortable wins for Ashleigh Barty and Danielle Collins, while Iga Świątek was pushed all the way by Kaia Kanepi.

Madison Keys registered the biggest upset of the quarter-finals by knocking out number four seed and reigning French Open champion Barbora Krejčíkova in straight sets.

All four of the remaining contenders have reached the last four of a Grand Slam before but who is favourite to lift this year’s title?

Here’s a look at the four semi-finalists in detail:

Ashleigh Barty

World number one Barty has been in scintillating form so far in 2022.

The Australian is yet to lose a match this year and has breezed through the opening five rounds without dropping a set.

Barty is a two-time Slam winner but is still looking for her first Australian Open title.

With form, crowd-support and ranking on her side, the 25-year-old is the heavy favourite to emerge victorious in Melbourne.

Ash Barty

Madison Keys

Keys is a former US Open finalist but has been hampered with injuries in recent times and struggled to find consistent form as a result.

This year appears to be a turning point for the American, however, and the 26-year-old has strung together a run of 10 consecutive victories.

Keys won her sixth title at the Adelaide International 2 earlier this month and has continued this form into the first major of the year.

The US star will play Barty in the semi-finals and is considered a huge underdog. Yet, so far in Melbourne, Keys has knocked out fourth seed Krejčíkova, eighth seed Paula Badosa and 11th seed Sofia Kenin. So don’t count her out of eliminating the world’s best player as well.

Madison Keys

Danielle Collins

Collins reached the semi-final in Melbourne back in 2019 –– losing to Czech star Petra Kvitová.

The 28-year-old has now reached the same stage again and has only dropped two sets so far.

Collins won her first two WTA titles in 2021 and will now have the belief she can go all the way in this tournament.

Danielle Collins

Iga Świątek

Świątek is still only 20-years-old but is already a major champion, having stormed to victory at the 2020 French Open.

The Polish star has reached at least the fourth round at each of the past five majors and is proving herself to be one of the most consistent players in the world.

In this tournament, the world number eight has been forced to battle back from a set down in her past two matches but has shown impressive resilience to recover on these occasions.

Świątek will enter her semi-final against Collins as favourite and could set up a mouth-watering final against Barty if both win their respective matches.

Iga Swiatek
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