Aryna Sabalenka showcased her dominance and sealed her second consecutive Australian Open title with an exceptional 6-3, 6-2 victory over Zheng Qinwen in the women’s final on Saturday.
A One-Sided Affair
A Mix of Triumphs and Challenges
Sabalenka faced few obstacles on her unstoppable path towards her second Grand Slam singles title. However, the momentum was briefly disrupted during the third game of the second set when an activist interjected with loud exclamations. Fortunately, security swiftly removed the individual, allowing the match to resume.
Despite being only one point away from claiming victory while serving for the match, Sabalenka momentarily faltered. Two wide or long forehands, coupled with Zheng’s clever drop shot, caused her to miss out on three championship points. In frustration, she flung the ball away in disappointment. Nevertheless, she swiftly regained her composure and triumphed by winning the subsequent three points.
Triumph Amidst Adversity
Ultimately, Aryna Sabalenka required five championship points to secure her well-deserved win. With an impressive forehand crosscourt winner, she solidified her victory, leaving Zheng perennially on the defensive throughout the match.
“It’s truly been an extraordinary couple of weeks. The feeling right now is simply indescribable,” expressed Sabalenka during her trophy presentation. Adding her distinct touch of quirkiness, she humorously stated, “As always, my speeches tend to be peculiar—I suppose it’s not my superpower!”
Aryna Sabalenka’s remarkable performance at the Australian Open has solidified her standing as an elite tennis player. With yet another championship under her belt, she is undeniably a force to be reckoned with on the court.
Sabalenka Makes History with Back-to-Back Australian Open Titles
The 25-year-old Aryna Sabalenka has etched her name in the tennis history books by winning her second Australian Open title in three years. This remarkable achievement comes within a span of just 13 months. Last year, Sabalenka clinched the title by defeating Elena Rybakina.
Sabalenka’s back-to-back triumphs at the Australian Open make her the first woman since Victoria Azarenka in 2012 and 2013 to accomplish this feat. Furthermore, she joins a prestigious group of five players since 2000 who have won this championship without dropping a set, a group that includes the legendary Serena Williams.
In an enthralling final, the 21-year-old Zheng Saisai faced Sabalenka, marking her debut in a major final. This match was her first encounter against an opponent ranked within the top 50 throughout the tournament. Intriguingly, this was the second time their paths had crossed in the second week of a major.
Sabalenka had previously defeated Zheng in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open last year before losing to Coco Gauff in the final. Avenging her loss to Gauff, Sabalenka secured a semifinal victory, extending her unbeaten run at Melbourne Park to an impressive 13 matches. Now, her unbeaten streak stands at 14.
In just her ninth major appearance, Zheng exceeded her previous best performance by reaching the final. In the 2020 U.S. Open, she reached the quarterfinals. An incredible accomplishment for Zheng was advancing through six rounds without facing any opponent ranked within the top 50. She became only the third player in the Open era to reach a major final without encountering a seeded player. However, facing the formidable number two-ranked player, Sabalenka, proved to be a significant challenge for her.