Sabalenka crowned Australian Open 2023 champion; bags maiden Grand Slam title with win over Rybakina
Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka bagged her maiden Grand Slam title with a win over reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina at the Australian Open 2023 in Melbourne on Saturday.
Aryna Sabalenka bagged her maiden Grand Slam title with a win over reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina at the Australian Open 2023 in Melbourne on Saturday.
The Belarusian defeated the Kazakhstani 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in front of a packed Rod Laver Arena to lift the coveted title.
Sabalenka lived up to the praise and expectations and now has one of the most sought-after titles in the sport. The final was framed as a contest between two courageous, aggressive players, which was how the match was advertised.
The players ultimately hit 82 wins between them, 51 of which came off Sabalenka's racquet, but it was the No. 5 seed's unflappable performance in crucial situations that finally proved to be the difference.
At 3-3 in the third set, Sabalenka broke the tie with her third chance of the match. She then won the point with a midcourt overhead winner to take the lead. The Belarusian quickly ended the next game with an ace, her 16th of the match, giving her a 5-3 advantage. Rybakina held to make it 5-4.
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With Sabalenka, taking the court to finish off the match, she took a few deep breaths and methodically walked to the court. Sabalenka fell to the court on her fourth match point in celebration when Rybakina overhit a forehand long.