Zheng Qinwen coach's stern warning for Aryna Sabalenka ahead of Australian Open final

Coach Pere Riba optimistic Zheng can deliver another great performance and upset Sabalenka.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Zheng Qinwen coach's stern warning for Aryna Sabalenka ahead of Australian Open final
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Coach Pere Riba acknowledged beating Aryna Sabalenka is going to be a very difficult task for Zheng Qinwen but also warned the Belarusian that the 21-year-old Chinese is playing great and feeling well about her Australian Open final chances. 

Zheng, seeded at No. 12, will be playing her first Grand Slam final when she takes on defending Australian Open champion Sabalenka on Saturday. On the other side, 25-year-old Sabalenka is set for her third Grand Slam final after winning last year's Australian Open and finishing as runner-up at the US Open. 

Over the last couple of months, Zheng has been on the rise. After winning Zhengzhou and finishing as runner-up at the WTA Elite Trophy, Zheng has now been through to her maiden Slam final and will also be a top-10 player for the first time on Monday. 

Zheng Qinwen
Zheng Qinwen© Getty Images Sport - Darrian Traynor
 

"It will be a tough match for Qinwen, because Sabalenka is the favorite. But the evolution of Qinwen is ... every month she's better and better and better," Riba said ahead of the final, via the AAP.

"She (will) arrive with very good feelings, really motivated. If she plays her game, she will have her chances."

Coach Riba optimistic about Zheng's chances against Sabalenka

Through her opening six matches at Melbourne Park, Zheng has fired 165 winners and 48 aces. Evidently, the 21-year-old can deliver some fireworks and coach Riba hopes that will be the case when the Chinese takes on Sabalenka in the final.

"Qinwen is serving really well - it's unbelievable the talent that she has," Riba said.

"She can toss the ball different, she can do different motions ... she can serve really good."

Zheng Qinwen
Zheng Qinwen© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer
 

On Saturday, Zheng and Sabalenka will be going head-to-head for the second time. A couple of months ago, Sabalenka routinely won their US Open quarterfinal match with a 6-1 6-4 scoreline.

It will be interesting to see if Zheng can end Sabalenka's 13-match winning run at the Australian Open and lift her first Grand Slam title.

Aryna Sabalenka Australian Open
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