Sabalenka wins 1st slam title at Aussie

(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - One point away from her first Grand Slam title, Aryna Sabalenka faulted. And then she faulted again. She grimaced. She yelled and turned her back to the court. She wiggled her shoulders and exhaled.

Clearly, this business of winning the Australian Open was not bound to happen without a bit of a struggle Saturday night. Sabalenka knew deep inside that would be the case. She also knew that all of the effort she put in, to overcome self-doubt and those dreaded double-faults, had to pay off eventually. Just had to.

And so, as she wasted a second match point by flubbing a forehand, and a third by again missing another, Sabalenka did her best to stay calm, something she used to find quite difficult. She hung in there until a fourth chance to close out Elena Rybakina presented itself - and this time, Sabalenka saw a forehand from her similarly powerful foe sail long. That was that. The championship belonged to Sabalenka via a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 comeback victory over Wimbledon winner Rybakina.


2023 ATP Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 N. Djokovic 7,070
2 C. Alcaraz 6,730
3 S. Tsitsipas 6,195
4 C. Ruud 5,765
5 A. Rublev 4,200
6 R. Nadal 3,815
7 F. Auger-Aliassime 3,715
8 T. Fritz 3,410
9 H. Rune 3,046
10 H. Hurkacz 2,995
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2023 WTA Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 I. Swiatek 10,485
2 A. Sabalenka 6,100
3 O. Jabeur 5,210
4 J. Pegula 5,000
5 C. Garcia 4,645
6 C. Gauff 3,992
7 M. Sakkari 3,811
8 D. Kasatkina 3,380
9 B. Bencic 2,905
10 E. Rybakina 2,815
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