Rybakina Rocks Sabalenka To Win Brisbane, First Title Since Rome

by Staff | January 7th, 2024, 2:49 pm
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A year ago it was Aryna Sabalenka taking down Elena Rybakina to win the Australian Open. Last year, the two met again in a final in Australia and while it was no where near the level of a Grand Slam, Rybakina turned the tables rolling past Sabalenka 6-0, 6-3 to win the Brisbane title.

It was Rybakina third career win over the Belarussian and third in the last 11 months. And her sixth career title, first title or final since Rome. She won the first eight games of the match.

“Despite the score, it’s always tough to play against you,” Rybakina said on court. “We always push each other and I think that’s great. We improve this way, so hopefully we continue.”

Rybakina tallied seven aces and broke five times while broken once.

“I knew that no matter the score, is going to be still difficult in the second set. It was just few moments again where it could turn other way around,” she added. “In the end, I think it was still not as easy as it might look from outside.”

The loss snapped Sabalenka’s 15-match win streak in Australia.

“That was an interesting match. Thanks for those three games. At least we made it look like a fight,” she joked to the crowd.

Rybakina, who won the title without losing a set and losing serve once, will now head to a tough Adelaide field.

“I didn’t have enough hours which we wanted to do the week before coming here because I got sick again,” Rybakina said to the WTA. “This week was a bit unexpected with the result. It was still getting back to the shape, to recover from the illness.

“I think we see how it’s going to be in Adelaide. Of course, it’s different conditions. Hopefully, as I said, I continue to play well and feel good on the court.”

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