Aryna Sabalenka defeated Elena Rybakina in women's final of the Australian Open 2023 on Saturday. The 24-year-old from Belarus won her first ever Grand Slam title. In the three sets that lasted for 34 minutes, 57 minutes and 57 minutes, respectively, Sabalenka lost the first set but made a brilliant comeback to register win over Rybakina 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Sabalenka received the trophy from Billie Jean King. “I’m still shaking and super nervous,” she said. “My team, the craziest team on tour, I would say. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs the last year. We worked so hard. You guys deserve this trophy, it’s more about you than me.”
“I know how hard you’ve worked for that,” Rybakina told Sabalenka. “Hopefully we’re going to have many more battles.”
Sabalenka has now won all the 11 games that she played this year and the opening set in the final which she lost to Rybakina was the first one she’s dropped. When it comes to the head-to-head details, Sabalenka has won all four career matches against Rybakina and thet too in three sets.
Rybakina and Sabalenka employ a somewhat similar brand of tennis, relying on big serves and big hitting at the baseline. Earlier, Rybakina, a 23-year-old who represents Kazakhstan defeated Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (4), 6-3 at Melbourne Park to enter the summit clash. On the other hand, Sabalenka reached her first Grand Slam title match by beating unseeded Magda Linette 7-6 (1), 6-2 in the second semifinal.
In the men's finals, Novak Djokovic beat Tommy Paul on Friday to progress to the final clash of the Australian Open 2023 on Sunday. The 35-year-old registered a win 7-5,6-1, 6-2 against Paul to carry a 27-match winning streak at Melbourne Park. The legendary tennis player will now face Stefanos Tsitsipas on January 29 at the Rod Laver Arena. Tsitsipas beat Karen Khachanov 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-7 (6), and 6-3 in the semifinals and became the 9th active male player to make it to multiple Grand Slam finals