Australian Open officials have released the list of players who were fined for their behaviour across the first week and a half of the tournament, with Aussie Daria Saville featuring. Saville, who was controversially awarded a wildcard at the expense of Australia's top-ranked women's player Arina Rodionova, couldn't make the most of the chance and lost 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 5-7 to Magdalena Fręch in the first round.
She also lost in the second round of the women's doubles and first round of the mixed (with Ajla Tomljanovic and husband Luke Saville respectively), making it a rather brutal tournament for the Aussie fan favourite. But to make matters worse, Saville has now copped a $7600 from organisers.
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The 29-year-old was slugged with the fine for making a 'visible obscenity' during a match, which relates to gestures that players make with either their hands or body. The fine is unlikely to cause too much stress however, with Saville pocketing a total of $173,000 in prize money for the tournament.
"I'm disappointed with the result, disappointed with my performance as well," Saville said after her loss in the singles, lamenting the fact she couldn't continue the form that took her to the semi-finals in Hobart before the Australian Open. "The best thing I can be positive about is the way I fought in the third, so no regrets there but overall I didn't play my best tennis - I didn't play as well as I was playing in Hobart or Brisbane."
Daniil Medvedev, who was famously fined $17,000 on his way to the final last year, has copped another $9000 sanction for unsportsmanlike behaviour in his second-round match this year. Medvedev's fine is the largest dished out so far at this year's event.
Hubert Hurkacz, who lost to Medvedev in the quarter-finals, was fined $7600 for an audible obscenity in that match, while Holger Rune copped the same punishment for whacking a microphone attached to the umpire's chair (unsportsmanlike conduct). Tommy Paul was hit with a $6000 penalty for smashing his racquet against Miomir Kecmanović in the third round. All-in-all, men's players have been hit with $75,000 worth of fines, compared to $40,000 for the women.
Aryna Sabalenka and Zheng Qinwen to clash in Australian Open final
On Thursday night, Aryna Sabalenka and Zheng Qinwen progressed to the women's final with impressive victories in the semi-finals. World No.2 Sabalenka exacted some revenge over Coco Gauff after the American beat her in the US Open final last year.
The Belarusian prevailed 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 and will now be looking to emulate compatriot Victoria Azarenka in defending her Australian Open title. Azarenka is the last player to win back-to-back titles at Melbourne Park, doing so in 2012 and 2013.
She will come up against Chinese player Zheng Qinwen, who is looking to create some history of her own. Zheng can became just the second Asian woman to win a grand slam title after her idol Li Na won the Australian Open in 2014. Li is in Melbourne this year watching Zheng's run, perhaps foreshadowing the fairytale that is to come.
The 12th seed, who is set to enter the top 10 when the rankings are updated, ended the dream run of Ukrainian qualifier Dayana Yastremska 6-4 6-4. Yastremska was looking to become just the second qualifier in tennis history to win a grand slam after Emma Raducanu at the US Open in 2021.
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