(CTN News) – The Australian Open championship was successfully defended by Aryna Sabalenka on Saturday when she defeated China’s Qinwen Zheng in straight sets.
As a result of her victory 6-3 6-2, the Belarusian becomes the first woman since her compatriot Victoria Azarenka in 2013 to retain the title at Melbourne Park.
After winning her second Grand Slam title, the 25-year-old celebrated her victory with a runway walk. In high spirits, she was seen returning to the locker room clutching a trophy.
The 12th seed proved too formidable for Sabalenka, who ended the match in 76 minutes to win her second Grand Slam title.
As a result of the early exits of several competitors on her side of the draw, Zheng had reached her first Grand Slam final without facing a seeded player, and the difference in class became apparent very quickly.
She became the fifth woman to win the Australian Open without dropping a set, following Lindsay Davenport, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, and Ash Barty. Having won her first two Women’s Singles Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open,
Sabalenka is only the second player in the Open Era to accomplish this feat.
In addition, she is the third player in the last 10 years to win the same women’s singles major event consecutively, joining Serena Williams at Wimbledon (2015-2016) and Iga Swiatek at Roland Garros (2022-2023).
The Opta database indicates that Sabalenka is only the second player in the past 20 years to win the Women’s Singles Australian Open final without dropping a single game on serve, following Serena Williams’ victory over Maria Sharapova in 2007.
The second Chinese player to qualify for a Grand Slam final and the first since Li’s title run here in 2014, Zheng enters the rankings at No.7 on Monday, while Sabalenka remains at No.2.