Aryna Sabalenka wins 2023 Australian Open | The Sporting Base

Aryna Sabalenka wins 2023 Australian Open

January 29, 2023

Aryna Sabalenka wins 2023 Australian Open

Aryna Sabalenka of Minsk, Belarus is a grand slam singles tennis champion for the first time in her women’s tennis career. On Saturday, Sabalenka defeated Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Sabalenka was the fifth seed, while Rybakina was the 22nd seed. Rybakina was seeded as low as she was because she did not receive any WTA ranking points in 2022 for winning Wimbledon. 

A major reason for Sabalenka’s success in Melbourne was because of her serve. Sabalenka had 17 aces, while Rybakina had nine. Sabalenka won the match despite seven double faults.

Sabalenka becomes the second Belarusian to win the Australian Open. The first was Victoria Azarenka of Minsk, who won the 2012 and 2013 Australian Open titles. In 2012, Azarenka defeated Maria Sharapova of Russia rather easily, 6-3, 6-0. In 2013, Azarenka defeated Li Na of China, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

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Na and Sharapova were also Australian Open champions. Sharapova defeated Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 7-5, 6-3 in 2008. Na defeated Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7-6, 6-0 in 2014.

Sabalenka’s victory came after serious issues with her serve a year ago. Things were going so bad for the Belarusian, she started serving underhand just to get the tennis ball in the right rectangle on the court. In all, she had 428 double faults in 2022 alone.

Entering the 2023 Australian Open, Sabalenka was playing with a significant amount of momentum. At the 2023 Adelaide International, which was a WTA 500 point event leading up to the first major of the calendar year, Sabalenka defeated Linda Noskova of Czechia in the final, 6-3, 7-6. Her win at the Australian Open was also the 12th title of her career.

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