Aryna Sabalenka to face Qinwen Zhang in 2024 Australian Open final
January 26, 2024
The final is set in women’s singles at the 2024 Australian Open. On Saturday in Melbourne, the second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus will face the 12th seed Qinwen Zheng of China.
Sabalenka is looking to defend her Australian Open title. She won the 2023 Australian Open by beating Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in the final, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
This is the second consecutive deep run for Zheng at a major. She reached the quarterfinals of the 2023 United States Open before losing to Sabalenka 6-1, 6-4.
In the women’s semifinals on Thursday, Sabalenka beat Coco Gauff of the United States, the 2023 United States Open champion, 7-6, 6-4, and Zheng beat Ukrainian qualifier Dayana Yastremska 6-4, 6-4. Sabalenka beat Gauff in a first set tiebreak 7-2. Sabalenka was victorious even though Gauff broke her serve thrice. A major reason for the Sabalenka win came down to inaccurate serving for Gauff, as she had eight double faults, compared to only two double faults to Sabalenka. Historically, poor serving has been an issue for Sabalenka, however on this day it was Gauff who had difficulty getting the tennis ball in the right rectangle. Zheng meanwhile had success off of Yastremska’s serve, as she broke the Ukrainian four times in 11 opportunities.
Sabalenka has only faced Zheng once all-time. That was the aforementioned quarterfinal match at the United States Open last year, which Sabalenka dominated in 73 minutes. Sabalenka was the more effective player when it came to being the aggressor and dictating play. She won eight of nine points when coming to the net. Zheng also had issue with her serve, as she only had a first serve percentage of 41%.
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