Australian Open: Aryna Sabalenka efficiently defends her title in Melbourne with victory in opposition to Qinwen Zheng | Tennis Information

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 develop into 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 gained the title right here a decade in the past, couldn’t deal with Sabalenka’s ruthless energy all through the competition which lasted 76 minutes.

Zheng vs Sabelenka: Story of the Tape

Zheng Match Stats Sabalenka
6 Aces 3
6 Double Faults 0
74% 1st serve win share 84%
38% 2nd serve win share 42%
3/3 Web factors gained 4/8
0/4 Break factors gained 3/6
19 Whole winners 14
16 Unforced errors 14
46 Whole factors gained 62

Sabalenka obtained the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup from Evonne Goolagong Cawley on the fiftieth anniversary of her first singles title right here.

Afterwards, she mentioned: “I need to congratulate Qinwen on an unimaginable couple of weeks. I understand how robust it’s to lose within the closing however you are such an unimaginable participant and you are going to get it.

“It has been an incredible couple of weeks. I could not think about myself lifting this trophy yet one more time. It is an unbelievable feeling.

“As at all times my speech goes to be bizarre. Group, wow. Thanks a lot for being by my aspect it doesn’t matter what. I imply, with out me you would not be that good as nicely.

“I by no means discuss my household in these speeches however I’ve to say thanks for every part they’ve achieved for me. I like you a lot, you are my greatest motivation. I can not wait to come back again.”

Sabalenka got here into the match with out dropping a set on the yr’s first main and stayed excellent to affix 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 1000’s of Chinese language supporters and hundreds of thousands again house watched Zheng fall behind 3-0.

Girls to win back-to-back Australian Open titles this century

Jennifer Capriati

Serena Williams

Victoria Azarenka

Aryna Sabalenka

The charismatic 25-year-old has an enormous Melbourne fan base and she or he rode the Rod Laver Enviornment assist 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 large 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.

With Zheng attempting to carry within the third sport, the match was briefly delayed when two spectators held up play within the stands and shouted till they have been hauled away by safety to cheers from the remaining followers.

Zheng stored her composure to get on the board however her serve had actually dropped off and Sabalenka broke once more to guide 4-1.

Zheng managed some transient late resistance, saving 4 match factors, however Sabalenka crunched a forehand winner on her fifth likelihood earlier than thrusting her arms into the air to shut out essentially the most one-sided closing since Azarenka beat Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-0 in 2012 by smashing a forehand winner.

Zheng, who will break into the highest 10 on Monday, mentioned after receiving her runners-up plate: “I need to say congrats for Aryna to have such a beautiful match right here.

“It is my first closing right here and I am feeling it is a little bit little bit of a pity however I need to say due to all of the followers who come right here to observe me. I really feel I may do higher on this match however I need to say due to my workforce who helped me arrive right here.

“I actually get pleasure from enjoying on this Australian Open. It is an incredible reminiscence for me, I am positive there’s going to be extra and even higher sooner or later.”

Perfection from Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka has develop into the second participant within the final 20 years, to win the Australian Open closing with no single sport dropped on serve after Serena Williams in 2007 in opposition to Maria Sharapova.

Robson: Sabalenka’s energy was an excessive amount of

Talking on Eurosport, Laura Robson mentioned: “Sabalenka undoubtedly did look nervous on the primary couple of match factors however then she did what she does finest, she went even greater together with her groundstrokes, even greater together with her serve.

“She stored going after her pictures, stored being courageous and it is what received her the win.

“I simply discovered it superb at this time that she barely needed to change something tactically from begin to end. Her energy was simply an excessive amount of for Zheng.

“To ship that type of efficiency throughout two weeks, each match getting higher and higher, I really feel like the remainder of the gamers within the locker room shall be feeling ‘uh oh’ for the remainder of the season.”

Henman: Sabalenka produced an ‘absolute clinic’

Tim Henman mentioned: “Whenever you replicate on the match as a complete, it was completely pitch excellent from Sabalenka.

“She was so dominant on that first serve and she or he actually did reap the benefits of quite a lot of second serves from Zheng.

“It was an absolute clinic on the market and it is an actual reflection of the boldness and momentum she has constructed up via the six matches within the match.

“To go on the market after which produce a efficiency like that to complete it off is, I am positive, extremely satisfying.”

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