Aryna Sabalenka triumphs at the Australian Open to claim her 2nd Major

The Belarusian tennis player defeated the young Qinwen Zheng in straight sets, confirming the title she won last season in Melbourne

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Aryna Sabalenka triumphs at the Australian Open to claim her 2nd Major
© Graham Denholm / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Aryna Sabalenka triumphed at the Australian Open 2024, beating the young 21-year-old Chinese Qinwen Zheng in straight sets, confirming the title she won last season in Melbourne and winning the 2nd Major of her career, obtained in Australia.

A dominated tournament, in which the beautiful and very strong Belarusian did not concede even a set. Zheng did what she could, but on some occasions she could have done more in the service and management of the rallies. Sabalenka thus crowned a true queen of the tournament.

In a tournament that she dominated from the first round, Sabalenka often repeated a concept in the press conference and shouted her personal growth to the world. A growth capable of leveraging a fundamental philosophy: believing in yourself regardless of the score and what happens on the court.

The past helped the former WTA number one to reach this important awareness and confirm herself as champion at the Australian Open. It is no coincidence that Sabalenka has won 12 of the 14 tournaments added to the showcase on hard courts, a surface on which she expresses her best tennis and releases all her power.

Sabalenka and Zheng© Darrian Traynor / Stringer Getty Images Sport

The match

Sabalenka controlled the match with authority and closed the score with the score 6-3, 6-2. An excellent backhand return made Sabalenka's path downhill and sent a clear message to the match.

Zheng, however, experienced a timid reaction in the third game: the Belarusian recovered from 0-40 and gained further confidence. The Chinese saved three set points at 2-5, but Sabalenka erased any thoughts of a comeback from her mind by relying on her serve.

Zheng also started very badly in the second set and gave her the break by hitting three painful double faults in the first game.

Sabalenka© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

The 25-year-old from Minsk continued to have bad weather and even extended the lead to 4-1 by winning the most point of the match.

Sabalenka forced Zheng back with an exceptional backhand and she ended the rally, and the dispute, with a delightful drop shot. The last three defeats suffered in a Grand Slam tournament had left some troubles to a player who seemed still too fragile to handle the pressure and tension harmoniously.

Leading 5-2 in the decisive set against Karolina Muchova, in the semifinal of the Roland Garros 2023, Sabalenka completely pulled the plug and saw five games in a row go away. Something similar happened at Wimbledon, when she was ahead by a set and a break with Ons Jabeur and she threw away a good shot on the most famous lawn in the world.

One step away from her title at the US Open, emotions played another trick on the Belarusian. After beating Coco Gauff 6-2 in the opening set, she started making a lot of mistakes and reliving the same nightmare. Now everything has changed, Sabalenka can dream of dominating the WTA Tour.

Aryna Sabalenka Australian Open Qinwen Zheng