Aryna Sabalenka, number two in the world, was proclaimed champion of the Australian Open 2024 for the second time in a row after dominating the tournament in Melbourne from start to finish.
In the final played on Saturday night at the Rod Laver Arena, the Belarusian repeated the script he had set in all his matches: a resounding 6-3, 6-2 victory in 76 minutes against the Chinese. Zheng Qinwen is No. 15 in the world and a finalist for the first time in a Grand Slam.
“It’s been an amazing two weeks. I can’t imagine lifting this trophy again, and it’s an amazing feeling. I have no words,” said the Belarusian after the match.
Sabalenka thus becomes the first player in more than ten years to defend the trophy in Melbourne after her compatriot Victoria Azarenka became champion in 2012 and 2013.
He also did it with extreme dominance: in two weeks in Australia, the 25-year-old Belarusian did not lose a set. In seven games, they have lost just 31 games in total, less than the average of five per game.
Only the American Coco Gauff stood in the semifinals during a match that lasted more than an hour and a half before losing 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.
But in the end, the most dominant version of Aryna Sabalenka.
“It’s my first final, and I feel a little sad. I feel like I could have done better,” he sobbed after the game.
“But I enjoy playing it at the Australian Open 2024; this is a wonderful memory for me. “I’m sure there will be more and better in the future,” Zheng added.
Her best Grand Slam result so far is the quarterfinals of the 2023 US Open, where she was eliminated by Sabalenka.