Aryna Sabalenka sealed a second straight Australian Open title with a masterful efficiency in opposition to first-time Grand Slam finalist Qinwen Zheng in Melbourne on Saturday.
The world No 2 didn’t drop a set in seven matches and defeated China’s Zheng 6-3 6-2 to turn out to be the primary participant since countrywoman Victoria Azarenka 11 years in the past to assert back-to-back titles right here.
Zheng, who had not but confronted a top-50 opponent till the ultimate, is the primary Chinese language participant to make it to a Grand Slam decider since Li Na received the title right here a decade in the past, couldn’t address Sabalenka’s ruthless energy all through the competition which lasted 76 minutes.
Ladies to win back-to-back Australian Open titles this century
Sabalenka got here into the match with out dropping a set on the yr’s first main and stayed good to hitch Ashleigh Barty, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Lindsay Davenport within the elite membership of gamers to have managed the feat since 2000.
Sabelenka unleashed monster groundstrokes to seize the ultimate by the scruff of the neck with an early break and hundreds of Chinese language supporters and tens of millions again residence watched Zheng fall behind 3-0.
The charismatic 25-year-old has a giant Melbourne fan base and he or she rode the Rod Laver Area help to take the primary set.
Zheng, who had saved 4 set factors, confirmed she was slowly rising in confidence in her second assembly with Sabalenka by firing up her personal huge forehand amid the rallying cry of “Jia You” from her compatriots within the crowd.
A clear crosscourt winner earned Sabalenka a break level within the opening sport of the second set and Zheng’s double fault gifted it to her, the 21-year-old’s hopes of emulating her idol Li Na’s 2014 triumph starting to evaporate.
Perfection from Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka has turn out to be the second participant within the final 20 years, to win the Australian Open last with no single sport dropped on serve after Serena Williams in 2007 in opposition to Maria Sharapova.
Sabalenka shrugged off a shaky service sport to shut out probably the most one-sided last since Azarenka beat Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-0 in 2012 by smashing a forehand winner.
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