Belarusian World Number Two, Aryna Sabalenka, Secures First Set Victory in Australian Open Final Against Chinese 12th Seed Zheng Qinwen
In an impressive display of skill and dominance, Aryna Sabalenka, the Belarusian world number two, claimed the first set of the Australian Open final against Chinese 12th seed Zheng Qinwen on Saturday. Sabalenka’s powerful performance led to a resounding 6-3, 6-2 victory in just 76 minutes, successfully defending her Australian Open title.
This remarkable achievement marks Sabalenka as the first woman in more than a decade to defend the Australian Open title. Throughout the tournament, the 25-year-old showcased a remarkable combination of power and poise, securing her second Grand Slam crown without dropping a set in any of her seven matches.
The last successful women’s title defense at the Australian Open occurred in 2013, accomplished by fellow Belarusian Victoria Azarenka. With this latest triumph, Sabalenka solidifies her reputation as one of the game’s most consistent competitors at Grand Slams, reaching at least the semi-finals in her past six majors, making three finals, and clinching victory twice.
Dressed in vivid red, Sabalenka overwhelmed Zheng with her crushing groundstrokes, precise serves, and unwavering determination. Zheng, who reached her first Grand Slam final without facing a seed, found it challenging to match Sabalenka’s class.
The Belarusian capitalized on her opponent’s vulnerability, securing an early break and maintaining her lead throughout the set. Despite Zheng’s efforts to stay in the match, Sabalenka closed out the set on serve in 33 minutes.
As the second set unfolded, Sabalenka’s strong determination remained evident. Zheng faced increased pressure and conceded breaks, eventually trailing 4-1. Despite saving four championship points, Zheng couldn’t mount a comeback, and Sabalenka sealed the match to claim her 14th career title.
While Zheng’s loss marked the end of her breakthrough tournament, she is set to enter the world’s top 10 in the upcoming rankings. Sabalenka, despite the departure of some top-ranked players, will maintain her position at number two, just behind Iga Swiatek, who exited the tournament in the third round.