Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com
On Saturday, Aryna Sabalenka won her first Grand Slam by defeating Elena Rybakina 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the Australian Open final.
The Belarusian tennis sensation won the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup and $2 million after coming from a set down.
It wasn’t an easy climb for Sabalenka. She started the game in the most anticlimactic fashion as they come – serving a double fault upfront and later doing the same on the championship point.
22nd-seed Rybakina took the initiative and broke Sabalenka 2-1 and comfortably wrapped the set 6-4 in under 34 minutes to drop the first blood.
Not playing at her optimum, Sabalenka improved her court coverage in the second set and managed to impose herself into the match, earning her first break at 3-1.
Rybakina was forced on her wide forehand and made to work hard as Sabalenka’s menacing groundstrokes came to the party. She wrapped the second set 6-3 with an ace to level the match.
Serving first in the final set, last year’s Wimbledon champion took the game 40-30 before the Belarusian returned the favour with a powerful serving game.
Playing with laser precision, Rybakina’s first double fault of the match came in the fifth game of the set. However, the 23-year-old sent in two booming serves to deuce the game and later win it.
The first break in the set came for Sabalenka at 4-3 when she fashioned some sumptuous forehand and backhand winners down the line.
Rybakina’s body language at the end of the particular game suggested Sabalenka had wrestled some of the momentum away from her.
Afterwards, it was only a matter of time before Sabalenka applied the finishing touches. Rybakina, however, did not go down without a fight. She pushed Sabalenka to four championship points before finally failing to come up with an answer.
With the win, Sabalenka will rise second in the ATP world rankings. Meanwhile, Rybakina will break into the top-10 after having received no points for her Wimbledon win last year.