Aryna Sabalenka celebrates her victory | AFP
Melbourne: Aryna Sabalenka won her first Grand Slam title by coming back to beat Elena Rybakina 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Australian Open women’s final Saturday.
The 24-year-old Sabalenka, who is from Belarus, was appearing in her first major final.
She improved to 11-0 in 2023, and the only set she has dropped all season was the opener on Saturday against Wimbledon champion Rybakina.
But Sabalenka turned things around with an aggressive style that resulted in 51 winners, 20 more than her opponent. She used 17 aces to overcome seven double-faults. And she managed to break the big-serving Rybakina three times, the last coming for a 4-3 lead in the third set that she never relinquished.
Sabalenka needed to work for the championship, double-faulting on her initial match point and requiring three more to close things out. AP