Tennis: sacred to Australian Open, first double title for Aryna Sabalenka

The 24-year-old Belarusian, who played under a neutral banner, won his first Grand Chelem title on Saturday in Melbourne by overthrowing the Kazakhe Elena Rybakina (4-6, 6-3, 6-4).

by Elisabeth Pineau

Aryna Sabalenka is not the first player of her country to win a title of the Grand Chelem in Simple – she is preceded by Victoria Azarenka -, but she will remain in history as the first to be sacred in Grand Slam ” Under neutral banner “, in the context of the war in Ukraine. For his baptism in the final of a single adult, the 24-year-old Belarusian overthrew, Saturday January 28, the Kazakhe Elena Rybakina (4-6, 6-3, 6-4) without having the right to his anthem nor to His flag at the time of the trophy ceremony on the Rod Laver Arena.

A victory like a bonus in audacity rather than in the experience in this poster of knocks perched almost at the same height (1.84 m for Rybakina; 1.82 m for Sabalenka), but Large radically different segments: Disady in Kazakhe (born in Moscow), all in power in Belarusian. Two archetypes of modern tennis, in short.

Rybakina had the favors of the predictions, weighted from her first big home title to Wimbledon in July 2022. A victory in the nose and beard of the members of the Venerable All England Club, who had decided during this edition not like The others to ban the Russian and Belarusian players, in response to the invasion of Ukraine at the end of February 2022 by Russia, with the assistance of Minsk. The winner of the day, Aryna Sabalenka, had therefore been deprived of competing in the prestigious Gazon tournament.

Power in front

Saturday, the most experienced of the two players first took orders from the final. The Kazakhe locked the Belarusian in the diagonal setbacks and made the difference on its put into play, its mistress weapon, where its opponent was permanently on a thread. After having conceded his commitment first time at the start of the set, the 5 global raked to the scoring at 4-4 before falling back into her flaws at the following game: she let go of her service on a fourth double fault , abandoning the first round in Rybakina (6-4).

The outcome of the match was already drawing, but the tension suddenly changed aside in the second set. The Kazakhe service broke out, Sabalenka took the opportunity to fly 4-1, even missing the game following three double break balls synonymous with K.-O. Was it her assessment against the Belarusian – which led before final 3 to zero in their confrontations – who caught up with it? Rybakina lost his first ball and control of the match, when his opponent fell into application and aggressiveness, evacuating his aggressiveness and his determination under the decibels. The Belarusian missed two set balls at 5-2. But barely a few minutes later, she was logically rewarded for her audacity and recolla with a round everywhere (6-3).

/Media reports cited above.