Sa-ba-‘win’-ka!

Henry

Aryna Sabalenka needed just 76 minutes to successfully defend her Australian Open title in Melbourne.

The Belarusian star overcame Zheng Qinwen 6-3, 6-2 in a one-sided final.

In doing so, she became the first player – since Victoria Azarenka accomplished the very feat more than ten years ago – to hold up the silverware twice in a row at Melbourne Park.

She had hopelessly too much ammunition for her Chinese opponent today and in addition to her powerful shots she also came up with smart tactical play.

“I couldn’t imagine holding the trophy here again; it’s an incredible feeling,” Sabalenka said after the match.

The 25-year-old is certainly enjoying playing in Australia: She has only dropped one of her past 29 sets in Melbourne and that was against Elena Rybakina in last year’s final.

“I would like to thank all the spectators. It is you who make the tournament special and it is a privilege to play in front of you. I can’t wait to hit here again.”

It was 21-year-old Qinwen’s first Grand Slam final and she vowed to do better in the future.

“I could definitely have done better now, but it’s still an incredible memory that I will definitely cherish. However, I know that even greater highlights can await me,” she said.

  • Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev will play in the men’s final on Sunday from 10:30. The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport.