- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Arina Rodionova’s wedding day started with a bonus Saturday - a semifinal win in the Australian Open wildcard qualifying tournament.

The Russian-born Australian beat Storm Sanders 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a morning match to advance to Sunday’s final.

But first, the 26-year-old who celebrated her birthday on Tuesday will marry Australian Rules football player Ty Vickery on Saturday afternoon.

“Just a good day all round today,” Rodionova said. “I have a few hours to get ready and marry the most amazing guy ever and I’m so looking forward to it. It was really tough to play today mentally . obviously the wedding is on my mind.”

Vickery was absent from Rodionova’s semifinal, telling family and friends that as per tradition, he shouldn’t see his future bride until the wedding service.

The pair had not scheduled a honeymoon because Vickery is in pre-season training with his Richmond Australian Football League side, and Rodionova is preparing for the Australian Open and its schedule of warm-up tournaments.

The wildcard semifinal was originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, but with some help from organizers and agreement from Sanders, it was moved up to a morning start.

The winner of the final between Rodionova and Maddison Inglis gains a spot in the main draw of the Australian Open beginning Jan. 18.

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