Fulfilling a dream that her late dad had for her to win her second Grand Slam by 25, World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka won the Australian Open final with a commanding and dominant performance over Qinwen Zheng 6-3, 6-2.
Sabalenka is the fifth player since 2000 to win the Australian Open title without dropping a set. She joins Victoria Azarenka, Ash Barty, Maria Sharapova, and Serena Williams.
She was the best player in the tournament from the first ball to last ball. Sabalenka served cleanly and hit massive shots the whole way through the draw. She had no double faults in the final match. The biggest challenge she had from Zheng was one break point opportunity at 5-2. To her credit, Zheng had an amazing tournament and will rise to World No. 7 when the rankings come out on Monday.
Aryna Sabalenka establishes herself as the best hardcourt player on the WTA Tour
Sabalenka is a two-time Australian Open champion and was the 2023 US Open finalist. There is no doubt that she is the favorite on WTA hardcourt matches. Her most formidable competition comes from Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek whose best successes have come on the clay courts at Roland Garros.
After match point, Sabalenka smiled with complete contentment that she fulfilled her father's dream. It was a much different look than last year when she looked relieved to win her maiden Grand Slam after a tight match against Elena Rybakina.
2024 is off to a great start in women's tennis. There is so much talent and depth in the tournament draws that anyone can upset a top player on any given day, but that did not happen to Sabalenka in Melbourne as she continues to play the best tennis of her career here. She will be eager to come back in 2025 to vie for the three-peat.