Australian Open 2023 Live Results, Schedule, Women’s Semifinals, Start Time: Novak Djokovic, Victoria Azarenka
Last year the Special Ks took us on a wild ride to the Australian Open doubles title. Now two Australians, ranked 277 and 163 in the world, are our new hometown heroes.
Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler are through to the Australian Open men’s final and plan to continue their unique build-up for Saturday’s showpiece.
The Australian pair – ranked 163 and 277 in the world in doubles – have emulated the performance of Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis by reaching the decider as qualifiers at Melbourne Park.
They defeated eighth-seeded Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos in a commanding performance in the semis 6-4, 6-2 to book a final against Hugo Nys and Jan Zieliński.
When asked what her preparation for the finals would be like, Hijikata said, “[Jason is going to]bang on some lollipops and Pepsi, and I’ll probably sleep most of the day tomorrow.”
It’s a unique formula, but one that clearly works for the unlikely dual heroes.
They eliminated first and eighth seed in their last two games without dropping a set, storming into the final and capturing the attention of an entire nation.
Now someone has to come up with a nickname by Saturday to match the “Special Ks.”
“We seem to have bad names for a nickname. We think about it and then there is nothing,” said Kubler.
“Nothing that sounds that good. Hopefully someone can come up with something, but if not, Jason and Rinky should be fine.”
Hijikata and Kubler may not play traditional doubles or share histories of other pairings, but their partnership works wonders.
“It’s funny because at some points we just yell at each other,” said Kubler.
“I don’t know what he’s saying, he doesn’t know what I’m saying, he doesn’t know what I’m saying, we’re just screaming.
:There are energy falls and we both play better when there is more energy. We continue. I don’t know who the leader is, but we’re doing pretty well right now.”
17:15 WHO WILL WIN TODAY?
It’s your turn to give your opinion on who you think will reach the Australian Open women’s final.
4:48 p.m. WHAT HIJIKATA SAID TO KUBLER
RINKY: No, honestly I was still pretty pissed about my singles match! But yeah I guess wow we’re definitely going to take it.
BUCKET: Who would have thought, who would have thought. We both returned incredibly. If anyone saw the match yesterday saw Rinky lace them up, I was happy to do my part today. Unbelievable, we get a rest day tomorrow and then play on Saturday.
RINKY: I don’t even know at this point. I think we just see the ball, hit the ball. Honestly don’t know.
BUCKET: It’s funny because at some points we just yell at each other. I don’t know what he’s saying, he doesn’t know what I’m saying, he doesn’t know what I’m saying, we’re just screaming. Energy happens and we both play better when we have more energy. We continue. I don’t know what the leader is, but we’re doing pretty well right now.
RINKY: (Asked about her preparation for the finals) I’ll hit up some lollipops and Pepsi, and tomorrow I’ll probably sleep most of the day.
BUCKET: I was lucky enough to play a few games at Ken Rosewall Arena and it was great to have that atmosphere and experience. That was my first time playing Rod Laver Arena that day I think so I was a bit nervous coming out but once our energy comes out I don’t even think about it, I just swing …With every game we get more confident and I feel more at home on these big courts.
RINKY: I don’t know, hey, I dunno, I guess… yes, if anyone can find one. I think it must be quite difficult because we haven’t found one yet.
BUCKET: We seem to have bad names for a nickname. We think about it and then there is nothing. Nothing that sounds that good. Hopefully someone can come up with something, but if not, Jason and Rinky should be fine.
4:42 p.m AUSSIE DUO IN MEN’S DOUBLES FINAL
You did it! Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler, ranked 277th and 163rd in the world in doubles, are through to the Australian Open final with a 6-4, 6-2 win. Boy does the crowd love it!
“Wow, that was such a good performance on serve, placement and returns from the two Australians,” says doubles legend Todd Woodbridge.
4:36 PM HIJIKATA, KUBLER SERVES FOR GAME
The Australian pair break again in set number two and are within sight of the men’s doubles final. They lead 5-2 in the second set. Start Googling male doubles because you might want to sound like an expert when discussing these two with your buddies! First the Special Ks, now Kubler and Hijikata. Another one.
16.32 AUSSIE PAIR THREE GAMES FROM FINALS
Hijikata and Kubler continue to hold a break in the second set and at 3-2, Todd Woodbridge sums up what every Aussie in the crowd seems to be thinking: “This is fun. It’s a great prospect,” he says on Channel 9. Hijikata just held the serve to make it 4-2.
4:05 PM AUSSIES TAKE FIRST SET IN DOUBLES SEMIFINALS
Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler won the first set in their men’s doubles semifinals against eighth-seeded Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.
Hijikata and Kubler are looking to keep the title in Australian hands and repeat last year’s feat of the Special Ks after winning the first set 6-4.
THE TENNIS LEGEND AGAINST RUSSIA BAN
Tennis great Billie Jean King called on Wimbledon on Wednesday to lift the ban on Russian and Belarusian players, saying “life is too short”.
Players from both countries were banned from the Grand Slam last year because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which stripped the tournament of ranking points.
The All England Club is considering doing the same thing again this year, but King urged them to lift the ban.
“Just keep it like the others. Life is too short,” she told reporters at the Australian Open. “I think they should get prize money. Just let them play and get their money.” Players from Russia and Belarus compete at the Australian Open as independents under a neutral white flag.
Two Belarusians – Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabelenka – are in the semifinals and could face each other in the title fight on Saturday.
Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan is also in the last four, although she is only seeded 22nd after missing out on ranking points for winning the Major.
“It’s definitely the ranking points. You must have it. Rybakina, they put her at 22, but because she won Wimbledon, she’s not (up seeded),” King said.
DJOKOVIC CHEEKLY CHALLENGES FEDERER
Roger Federer may not be on the ATP Tour anymore, but that hasn’t stopped his opponents from watching closely what he’s doing.
And when it comes to Novak Djokovic, the competitive rivalry still exists – albeit potentially in a different sport.
Fresh from his quarter-final win over Russia’s Andrey Rublev, Djokovic saluted Federer in his post-game interview and cheekily challenged the Swiss superstar.
“Let’s give the Roger boys a big round of applause,” he said.
“Tennis definitely misses him. I saw him dress very smartly for fashion week.
“Yes, I saw him skiing. I want to challenge him to a little ski race in a few years.
“But yeah, he’s definitely enjoying life. It’s nice to see that.
“Obviously for tennis, he was one of the most important players to ever play that game. So, big regards to him and his family.”
While we’d love a final showdown between Djokovic and Federer on the tennis court, the snow might be all we can hope for.
Originally released as Australian Open Day 11 Live Scores: Women’s Semi-Finals
https://www.codesports.com.au/tennis/australian-open-day-11-live-scores-schedule-order-of-play-highlights-results/news-story/f8250ec3a539db1c8c98a8a54f75811f?nk=5fd8d10f45630d93a0cd51f4d2145e8b-1674714971 Australian Open 2023 Live Results, Schedule, Women’s Semifinals, Start Time: Novak Djokovic, Victoria Azarenka