Sabalenka emerges top at Australian Open


Aryna Sabalenka bludgeoned her way to a maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open with a 4-6 6-3 6-4 win over Kazakh 22nd seed Elena Rybakina on Saturday.

It was a thrilling final match between two of the most exciting power-hitters in the women’s game.

Sabalenka’s 11th straight win of the year will propel the Belarusian back to her career-high ranking of number two behind Iga Swiatek.

She is reaping the rewards of her improved mental stability.

Russian and Belarusian players are only allowed to compete as individual athletes without national affiliation at Melbourne Park due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.


With this, fifth seed Sabalenka also becomes the first neutral athlete to win a major.

Success has followed a period of introspection and change for Sabalenka.

She had often appeared to let her emotions halt her progress on the big stage, as she dropped her sports psychologist in pre-season.

Sabalenka also worked with a biomechanics trainer to improve her cannonball serve, which tended to fail her in big moments in the past.

The results were evident before the year’s first Grand Slam as she won the Adelaide International 1 title.

After finally securing her first Grand Slam on Saturday, she dropped to the floor in delight.

She then walked up to Rybakina’s side of the court to hug her before embracing her emotional entourage in the players’ box.