Aryna Sabalenka Wins Australian Open After Defeating Elena Rybakina In Final
Aryna Sabalenka, the world number five, made Grand Slam history on Saturday (01.28.2023) by becoming the first Belarusian to win the Australian Open trophy. She beat the reigning Wimbledon champion, Kazakh Elena Rybakina, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in an intense final match in Melbourne.
Sabalenka hit 51 winners on her way to the trophy, as she overcame a first set loss to clinch the title and move up to second in the WTA standings. Unlike the Belarusian, Rybakina could only record nine aces and ended up losing the match due to Sabalenka’s push, however, she did still manage to go from 23rd to 10th place in the world ranking.
The decisive moment of the match came at 3-1 in the second set, as Sabalenka had three break points and after a double fault, two wide shots to the right, the first break was secured by the Belarusian. She then continued to improve, committing fewer errors and finding the right lines with her punches.
In the first Grand Slam final of her career, Sabalenka had a hard time managing the pressure to win the championship but, in her fourth match point, a forehand from Rybakina slipped wide and the game was ended by a Sabalenka who jubilantly collapsed on the blue court of Melbourne. (AFP)