(January 28, 2023) No. 5 seed Aryna Sabalenka has put self-doubt behind her as the woman from Belarus earned her first major title by defeating reighning Wimbledon champion and 22nd seed Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to win the Australian Open on Saturday.
Sabalenka hit 51winners including 17 aces to earn the victory in her first major final.
It was a hard-fought final game for the 24-year-old who had to save a break point, but finally closed it out on her 4th match point.
Over the years, Sabalenka would have mental struggles on court, but now she has overcome them.
“I just changed how I feel, she said during her news conference. “I start to respect myself more. I start to understand that actually I’m here because I work so hard and I’m actually good player.
“Just having this understanding that I’m a good player, I can handle a lot of emotions, a lot of things on court. Every time I had a tough moment on court, I was just reminding myself that I’m good enough to handle all this.”
“The last game, yeah, of course, I was a little bit nervous,” she said.” I (kept) telling myself, like, ’Nobody tells you that it’s going to be easy.′ You just have to work for it, work for it, ’til the last point,” said Sabalenka.
“It’s tough to explain what I’m feeling right now,” said Sabalenka. “Just super happy. Proud. I don’t know how to explain. It’s the best day of my life right now.”
Sabalenka’s ranking will rise to No. 2 on Monday.
More to follow……