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Australian Open tennis: Tsitsipas claims semis spot; Americans Pegula, Korda exit

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Stefanos Tsitsipas (pictured) of Greece will face Russian Karen Khachanov in the 2023 Australian Open semifinals. Photo by Lukas Coch/EPA-EFE
Stefanos Tsitsipas (pictured) of Greece will face Russian Karen Khachanov in the 2023 Australian Open semifinals. Photo by Lukas Coch/EPA-EFE

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed a semifinal spot while Americans Jessica Pegula and Sebastian Korda exited in the quarterfinals of the 2023 Australian Open on Tuesday in Melbourne.

Tsitsipas, the top men's seed (No. 3) remaining, beat Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena. The Greek tennis star fired nine aces, 36 winners and converted 2 of 6 break points in the two-hour, 17-minute match.

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"It felt different this time than any other match," Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. "The most important thing is that at the end I found a solution. ... He had a very good tournament and I wish him the very best in the future."

Korda, the No. 29 seed, retired from his match against No. 18 Karen Khachanov of Russia due to a wrist injury. Khachanov will face Tsitsipas in the semifinals.

"It was tough to hold the racket at times," Korda said. "I had it a little bit a couple weeks ago, but during the match it was completely fine. After one mishit return, it started bothering me."

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No. 4 Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face No. 5 Andrey Rublev of Russia in another quarterfinal match on Day 10. Americans Tommy Paul and Ben Shelton will meet in the other men's quarterfinal, with the winner facing Rublev or Djokovic in the semifinals.

On the women's side, No. 24 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat Pegula (No. 3) in straight sets to claim a semifinal spot. The two-time Australian Open champion will face No. 2 Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in the semifinals. Rybakina beat No. 17 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in just 79 minutes.

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"It was a tough match," Pegula said of facing Azarenka. "She played at a high level the whole time. I don't think I played my best, but I also think she played really well from the start."

No. 30 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic will face Magda Linette of Poland in another women's quarterfinal. No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will meet Croatian Donna Vekic in the other women's quarterfinal.

Australian Open quarterfinal coverage will resume at 9 p.m. on ESPN2 and ESPN+.

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