Teenage Czech qualifier Linda Noskova upset former world number one Victoria Azarenka to set up a semi-final showdown with Ons Jabeur at the Adelaide International.

In a match lasting almost three hours, Noskova triumphed 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (8-6) to continue a dream run in Australia.

Noskova has already beaten third seed Daria Kasatkina in Adelaide and, on only her sixth appearance in a WTA main draw, has won five straight matches.

Further progress will be no easy feat, with top seed Jabeur – a losing finalist at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2022 – grinding out a 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 win over Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk.

On the other side of the draw, second seed Aryna Sabalenka held off a resurgent Marketa Vondrousova to win 6-3 7-5. The Belarusian had led 4-1 in the second set before losing four of the next five games and failing on match point prior to finally seeing it out.

Irina-Camelia Begu defeated fourth seed Veronika Kudermetova 7-5 6-4 to set up a last-four clash with Sabalenka.

At the ASB Classic in Auckland, top seed Coco Gauff outclassed Zhu Lin 6-3 6-2, winning 90 per cent of first-serve points, firing down eight aces, and not giving up a single break point.

Seventh seed Danka Kovinic also won 6-3 6-2 against Viktoria Kuzmova to set up a semi-final clash with Gauff, while world number 95 Ysaline Bonaventure ousted third seed Leylah Fernandez 6-4 6-2 to reach a first Tour-level semi-final where Rebeka Masarova awaits.

Emma Raducanu was in tears as she retired with an ankle injury at the ASB Classic 11 days before the Australian Open starts, while Coco Gauff beat Sofia Kenin to reach the quarter-finals.

Raducanu dished out a bagel to qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova in the first set of the round of 16 match in Auckland on Thursday, but the 2021 US Open champion was unable to continue after losing the second set 7-5.

The 20-year-old Brit ended a disappointing 2022 season early due to a wrist injury and suffered another blow ahead of the first major of this year, leaving the court in tears.

Gauff will be eyeing her maiden grand slam title in 2023 and she impressively dispatched fellow American Kenin 6-4 6-4 in the second round in the capital of New Zealand.

Top seed Gauff and her compatriot were forced to play indoors due to the rain and it was the 18-year-old who prevailed, breaking three times and saving six of the break points she faced.

The teenager will face Zhu Lin of China for a place in the semi-finals after she beat Venus Williams 3-6 6-2 7-5.

Leylah Fernandez inflicted a crushing 6-0 6-1 defeat on Julia Grabher after losing only two games in her first-round win over Brenda Fruhvirtova and the Canadian will now face Ysaline Bonaventure, who defeated Rebecca Marino in three sets.

Top seed Ons Jabeur made a winning start to the season at the Adelaide International, seeing off Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 to set up a meeting with Marta Kostyuk

Irina-Camelia Begu claimed the scalp of Jelena Ostapenko with a 6-3 6-0 upset of the seventh seed, while Victoria Azarenka was a 6-2 7-5 winner against Zheng Qinwen and teenager Linda Noskova got past Claire Liu in straight sets.

Iga Swiatek dragged Poland into the semi-finals of the United Cup with inspired performances in her singles and doubles matches against Italy.

Poland trailed after Lorenzo Musetti and Matteo Berrettini secured wins against Daniel Michalski and Hubert Hurkacz respectively, only for Swiatek and Magda Linette to level things with respective singles victories over Martina Trevisan and Lucia Bronzetti.

That sent the Brisbane city final to a decider in the mixed doubles, which Swiatek and Hurkacz won with ease 6-1 6-2 against Musetti and Camilla Rosatello, though there was a pause in the second set to dry rainfall on the court.

Despite defeat, Italy also advanced to the final four as the city finals loser with the best record.

It was more routine in Sydney as the United States eased to a 4-1 win against Great Britain.

Madison Keys came from a set down to beat Katie Swan, while Jessica Pegula eased past Harriet Dart 6-2 6-0 after Cameron Norrie had defeated Taylor Fritz in three sets.

Despite going a set behind, Frances Tiafoe came back to beat Dan Evans 3-6 7-5 6-3 to clinch the win for his country, before Pegula and Fritz added some gloss after beating Dart and Evans in the mixed doubles.

The third city final in Perth included a thriller as Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Borna Coric 6-0 6-7 (4-7) 7-5. Donna Vekic had no trouble getting Croatia on the board as she eased past Despina Papamichail 6-2 6-0.

Maria Sakkari put Greece 2-1 ahead when she beat Petra Martic 6-3 6-3, but Borna Gojo defeated Stefanos Sakellaridis in straight sets to make it 2-2.

However, Greece secured the win and their place in the last four after the pairing of Sakkari and Tsitsipas saw off Martic and Gojo 7-6 (8-6) 6-4.

Greece will take on Italy in the semi-finals, while Poland face the USA, with both taking place in Sydney on Friday.

Aryna Sabalenka secured a straight-sets win in her first match of 2023, but was made to work for it by Liudmila Samsonova at the Adelaide International.

The number two seed won 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (7-3), saving seven set points after going 5-1 down in the first set, before roaring back to take both tie-breaks.

Sabalenka will face Marketa Vondrousova in the quarter-finals, with the Czech having produced a dominant performance in a 6-0 6-4 win against Kaia Kanepi. 

"When it's 1-5 down, it's like you have nothing to lose, and you just go for your shots without thinking," Sabalenka said.

"That really helped me to stay in the set, to keep fighting and to keep trying."

Fourth seed Veronika Kudermetova eased through after a 6-4 6-0 victory against Bianca Andreescu, while Marta Kostyuk also advanced with a hard-fought 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-3 win over Elena Rybakina.

At the ASB Classic in Auckland, second seed Sloane Stephens is out after falling to Rebeka Masarova.

Having been forced to resume on Wednesday after rain suspended play the previous day, Stephens struggled against her Spanish opponent, eventually losing 6-3 7-6 (7-5).

Fifth seed Wang Xiyu is also out after retiring from her match against Karolina Muchova, but seventh seed Danka Kovinic is through after a simple 6-1 6-4 win against Nao Hibino.

Kovinic will face Lauren Davis next after she overcame Tamara Zidansek 6-2 6-1, while fellow American Sofia Kenin will take on number one seed Coco Gauff in the last 16 after she beat Wang Xinyu in straight sets.

Boris Becker has swiftly found work after his release from prison, with the German tennis great signed up for television commentary during the Australian Open.

The six-time grand slam singles champion, who took the Australian title in 1991 and 1996, will be part of German Eurosport's team for the season's opening grand slam.

That was announced by the broadcaster on Tuesday, with Becker to co-commentate on big matches and present a 'Matchball Becker' analysis segment twice a day.

Becker, 55, has worked for Eurosport in previous years, as well as being a regular on the BBC's coverage of Wimbledon, a tournament he won three times.

He was released from jail in December, eight months into a two-and-a-half-year sentence handed down as punishment for hiding £2.5million worth of assets and loans to avoid paying debts when he was declared bankrupt in 2017.

Becker, a former coach of Novak Djokovic, reportedly spent the first few weeks of his sentence at Wandsworth Prison in London before being moved to the low-security Huntercombe prison in Oxfordshire in May.

In an interview with Sat.1 after his release, Becker spoke of his experience, saying: "When the cell door closes, the whole world collapses. This is the loneliest moment I've ever had.

"There is only you with your thoughts. There's a carousel in your head, of course. You try to breathe calmly. I was afraid, I didn't cry.

"I believe I rediscovered the human in me, the person I once was. I've learned a hard lesson. A very expensive one. A very painful one."

Emma Raducanu and Coco Gauff both got off to winning starts at the ASB Classic in Auckland on Tuesday.

Raducanu had to come from a set down to beat Linda Fruhvirtova 4-6 6-4 6-2, while top seed Gauff had an easier time of it as she dismissed Tatjana Maria 6-4 6-1 on another day interrupted by the rain.

Second seed Sloane Stephens was only able to get through three games before play was suspended in her match against Rebeka Masarova, while fifth seed Wang Xiyu was 5-3 down in the first set against Karolina Muchova when the rain came.

Fourth seed Bernarda Pera is out after her match with Viktoria Kuzmova resumed having being washed out on Monday, and the American was unable to prevent a 6-4 6-4 defeat, with Kuzmova advancing to face Raducanu in the last 16.

The only two other matches completed on Tuesday saw Elena-Gabriela Ruse beat Erin Routliffe in three sets, and Anna Blinkova overcome Elisabetta Cocciaretto, also in three.

At the Adelaide International, Zheng Qinwen earned a hard-fought victory against number six seed Anett Kontaveit, eventually winning 6-1 4-6 7-6 (9-7).

Eighth seed Ekaterina Alexandrova also crashed out despite winning the first set against Marketa Vondrousova, going on to lose 4-6 6-3 6-2, though seventh seed Jelena Ostapenko is through after beating Karolina Pliskova 6-1 6-3.

In a contest that lasted over two-and-a-half hours despite only two sets being played, Victoria Azarenka beat Anhelina Kalinina 7-6 (11-9) 7-6 (7-5), and will face Zheng next, while Sorana Cirstea will go up against top seed Ons Jabeur in the last 16 after beating Viktorija Golubic in straight sets.

Chris Evert has backed her long-time rival and friend Martina Navratilova to win her latest cancer battle.

American tennis great Evert, who completed her own course of chemotherapy treatment in May after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, said Navratilova's "strength and resilience" would stand her in good stead.

Navratilova has been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer, she announced on Monday. The Czech-American successfully underwent treatment for breast cancer in 2010 and has said the condition is "serious but still fixable" this time.

Evert's battles with Navratilova in the 1970s and 1980s provided one of the all-time great tennis rivalries.

Both women ended their careers with 18 grand slam singles titles, with Navratilova triumphing a record nine times at Wimbledon. Only Steffi Graf (22) and Serena Williams (23) have won more singles majors among women in the Open Era.

Evert posted on Twitter: "Thinking of @Martina today and supporting her journey, like she did mine, with love and prayers. This is a woman who takes on challenges with strength and resilience…You got this, Martina."

Former US Open champion Tracy Austin sent "prayers and hugs", adding: "Don’t know too many stronger, I know you got this my friend."

Navratilova's long-time former doubles partner Pam Shriver added: "@Martina knows how to put together a winning team. While the news today is difficult, Martina understands how to compete, and take care of herself.

"Her loving family and many friends are ready to support her journey one day at a time. You have this partner!"

Ons Jabeur, who was runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open last season, said she was "sending my love and my support".

Martina Navratilova said she is "not done yet" after it was confirmed she had been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer.

Navratilova is one of the most decorated tennis players of all time, having won 18 grand slam singles titles between 1978 and 1990.

She successfully underwent treatment for breast cancer in 2010, but it has been revealed she is once again battling the illness.

A representative described Navratilova's prognosis as "good", and the 66-year-old said the disease was "serious but still fixable".

Navratilova has pledged to fight, posting on Twitter: "Needless to say my phone and Twitter are both blowing up.

"I will say again – thank you all for your support and I am not done yet."

The Czech also received support from Billie Jean King, who tweeted: "Martina is as brave as she is strong. She has fought this battle before, and she is in our thoughts and prayers."

Billie Jean King insists Martina Navratilova is "as brave as she is strong" after the latter was diagnosed with throat and breast cancer.

Navratilova is one of the most decorated players of all time, having won 18 grand slam titles during a glittering career.

The 66-year-old underwent successful treatment for breast cancer in 2010, but it has now been confirmed she is battling the illness again.

Navratilova said the diagnosis is "serious but still fixable," while a representative confirmed she will start treatment later this month and subsequently not attend the Australian Open.

King, a 12-time major winner, offered her support.

"Martina is as brave as she is strong," the 79-year-old tweeted.

"She has fought this battle before, and she is in our thoughts and prayers."

Martina Navratilova has been diagnosed with throat and breast cancer, though a representative described the prognosis as "good".

Navratilova won 18 grand slam singles titles between 1978 and 1990, making her one of the most decorated players of all time.

She underwent successful treatment for breast cancer in 2010, but it has now been confirmed she is battling the illness again.

Navratilova said: "This double whammy is serious but still fixable, and I'm hoping for a favourable outcome.

"It's going to stink for a while but I will fight with all I have got."

Navratilova, 66, was due to travel to Melbourne this month to work on coverage of the Australian Open, a tournament she won three times.

But with her treatment due to start later in January, it has been confirmed she will not be in attendance.

A statement from a representative explained: "The prognosis is good and Martina will start her treatment this month.

"The cancer type is HPV and this particular type responds really well to treatment.

"Martina noticed an enlarged lymph node in her neck during the WTA finals in Fort Worth. When it didn't go down, a biopsy was performed, the results came back as stage one throat cancer.

"At the same time as Martina was undergoing the tests for the throat, a suspicious form was found in her breast, which was subsequently diagnosed as cancer, completely unrelated to the throat cancer.

"Both these cancers are in their early stages with great outcomes.

"Martina won't be covering the Australian Open for Tennis Channel from their studio but hopes to be able to join in from time to time by Zoom."

Linda Noskova produced the biggest win of her career as she defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 at the Adelaide International on Monday.

The 18-year-old Czech was impressive against the third seed as she recorded her first win against anyone in the top 30 of the world rankings.

Fourth seed Veronika Kudermetova eased past Amanda Anisimova in just an hour and 15 minutes, winning 6-3 6-0, while Liudmila Samsonova will face second seed Aryna Sabalenka in the next round after coming from a set down to beat Zhang Shuai 5-7 6-3 6-0.

Irina-Camelia Begu and Elena Rybakina also both came from behind to secure wins, with the latter beating fifth seed Danielle Collins to set up a last-16 clash against Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk, who beat Jaimee Fourlis 6-1 3-6 6-4.

At the ASB Classic in Auckland, 42-year-old Venus Williams comfortably overcame her 21-year-old opponent Katie Volynets 7-6 (7-4) 6-2, and will play China's Zhu Lin next after she eliminated sixth seed Madison Brengle 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-4.

Third seed Leylah Fernandez beat Brenda Fruhvirtova 6-1 6-1 to set up a last-16 tie with Julia Grabher after she defeated Tereza Martincova in three sets.

Eighth seed Rebecca Marino is through after beating Dalma Galfi in straight sets and will now face Ysaline Bonaventure, who eventually put away Caty McNally 5-7 6-4 6-4.

Viktoria Kuzmova led fourth seed Bernarda Pera 5-4 in the opening set when rain stopped play for the day.

Dan Evans helped Great Britain reach the last eight of the inaugural United Cup as his 6-3 1-6 6-3 win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas decided the team's Group D tie against Spain.

Rafael Nadal's shock defeat to Cameron Norrie – coupled with Katie Swan's win against Nuria Parrizas-Diaz – put Spain 2-0 down in the best-of-five tie ahead of Sunday's action.

World number 13 Paula Badosa put them back into contention with a hard-fought 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 win against Harriet Dart, but Evans gave Britain an unassailable lead by battling past Ramos-Vinolas, recovering from a dismal second set.

Having topped Group D, Britain will face the Croup C winners – the United States, Germany or the Czech Republic – for a semi-final place on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Hubert Hurkacz doubled up to help Poland past Kazakhstan, teaming up with Iga Swiatek in the mixed doubles after beating Alexander Bublik.

Hurkacz beat Bublik 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 6-3 in just over two hours before Magda Linette overcame Zhibek Kulambayeva 6-2 6-1.

With Poland's first win in the competition secure, world number one Swiatek helped Hurkacz put the icing on the cake with a 6-3 6-4 victory against Kulambayeva and Grigoriy Lomakin.

The Czech Republic also enjoyed a fruitful day as two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova downed Laura Siegemund in straight sets to seal the team's win against Germany, but Casper Ruud was less fortunate, with Norway losing their tie against Brazil despite his success against Thiago Monteiro.

Iga Swiatek warned rivals "I'm getting stronger and stronger in my mind" as she targets another memorable season in 2023.

The world number one enjoyed a dominant 2022 as she landed eight titles, including the French Open and US Open, while also embarking on a 37-match winning streak – the longest this century on the WTA Tour – and registering 22 'bagel' sets.

Swiatek made a winning start to her 2023 campaign at the United Cup with Poland earlier in the week, beating Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva 6-1 6-3 in Brisbane.

While acknowledging she must not become complacent this year and rely on past glories, the 21-year-old feels better prepared for the season with the Australian Open just a fortnight away.

"I feel more solid, and I feel more stability as well because last year, Adelaide was my first tournament with a new coach [Tomasz Wiktorowski], so that was my main focus," she said.

"This year, I have totally different challenges, so it's really hard to compare. But I feel like I had more time to actually work on some technical stuff at home, and hopefully I'm going to be able to use it in matches.

"I just think that it's going to be pretty easy for my head to compare everything to last year. And I feel like it's not really going to be helpful.

"Last year, it wasn't perfect, but sometimes when you win tournaments, all your head can remember is those good moments and that it went so smoothly.

"It wasn't like that, but I don't really want to go into those tournaments and be held back by my previous results. I want to treat it as new chapters, so I'm going to try to do that.

"But this is the biggest challenge I'd say, and we'll see how I'm going to go with that. Usually when I had goals like that, I had ups and downs, but I feel like I'm getting stronger and stronger in my mind, so maybe I'm going to be able to control that."

Wimbledon's ban on Russian and Belarusian players taking part last year was unjust and changed nothing regarding the war in Ukraine, believes Aryna Sabalenka.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last February, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) barred players from both countries appearing at SW19 – a decision that saw the organisation fined by the ATP last month.

World number five Sabalenka joined the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Victoria Azarenka in being excluded, and she believes the ban was both unfair and pointless.

"This is really terrible because no one supports war – no one," Sabalenka told The Age of the ban. "I'm just really disappointed sport is somehow in politics. 

"We're just athletes playing their sport. That's it. We're not about politics. If all of us could do something [about the war], we would do it, but we have zero control.

"They banned us from Wimbledon, and what did it change? Nothing. [The Russian government] are still doing this, and this is the sad part of this situation."

The LTA is yet to say whether similar measures will be in place this year, and Sabalenka is hopeful of a return after missing the atmosphere at SW19 in 2022.

"I really missed the people because the atmosphere at Wimbledon is super amazing," she said. "You can feel these people really love tennis there, and I really miss them.

"I really hope that I'll play there, just because of the people, to feel this atmosphere. If they're going to ban us again... I don't care about Wimbledon's decision. The only thing I'll miss is the people."

Rafael Nadal's United Cup campaign began with defeat against Cameron Norrie as Great Britain established a 2-0 lead over Spain in Group D.

The 22-time grand slam winner surrendered a first-set lead before going down 3-6 6-3 6-4 against the world number 14, who secured his first victory in five meetings.

Norrie, who became only the second Briton after Andy Murray to beat the Spaniard, set the tone for his team, with Katie Dart also coming from behind to deny Nuria Parrizas Diaz 3-6 6-1 6-2 later on.

Meanwhile, Germany's Alexander Zverev lost in straight sets on his return to ATP action, going down 6-4 6-2 to Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic, who went 2-0 up in the tie after Marie Bouzkova defeated Jule Niemeier 6-2 7-5.

World number one Iga Swiatek got Poland off to a flying start against Kazakhstan in Brisbane with a commanding 6-1 6-3 victory over Yulia Putintseva, but defeat for Daniel Michalski against Timofey Skatov leaves the Group B tie finely poised.

Brazil enjoyed a flawless start against Norway in Group E. Beatriz Haddad Maia was a 6-4 6-2 winner over Malene Helgo, and Felipe Meligeni Alves overcame Viktor Durasovic 6-3 6-3.

The spoils were shared between Belgium and Bulgaria in Group A with Alison van Uytvanck beating Isabella Shinikova, before David Goffin was seen off by Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 7-5.

Croatia closed the day with a pair of victories against Argentina in Group F as Donna Vekic and Borna Coric defeated Maria Carle and Francisco Cerundolo respectively.

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