Women’s Australian Open Final: Aryna Sabalenka v Qinwen Zheng
The first Grand Slam singles title of the 2024 season will be awarded tonight as Aryna Sabalenka takes on first-time Major finalist Qinwen Zheng.
Sabalenka comes into her third Grand Slam final winning her last 13 matches at the Australian Open. This year, while she lost in her warm-up event in Brisbane, she hasn’t dropped a set this set this and just avenged a US Open loss to Coco Gauff.
Sabalenka also rolled her opponent today, Zheng, 6-1, 6-4 in the US Open quarterfinals in their only meeting.
The second-seeded Sabalenka has now made six straight Grand Slam finals reaching her first final at this stage a year ago defeating Elena Rybakina in three sets.
Sabalenka will try to become the first player to defend her title here since 2012-2013 when her countrywoman Victoria Azarenka did it.
“I would say emotionally I’ll be very ready to fight,” Sabalenka said. “Not going crazy. Because when you play first final, you kind of get emotional and rush things sometimes.
“When you’re third time in the finals, you’re, like, `OK, it’s a final, it’s OK. It’s just another match,’ and you’re able to separate yourself from that thing.”
Zheng will rely on history. Her countrywoman Li Na won the Australian Open in 2014. At just 21, Zheng will try to do it at a much younger age than Li did it.
The 12th-seeded Zheng hasn’t faced a player in the Top 50. She’ll try to become the fourth first-time Grand Slam winner in the last five Slams, which will mark quite a run of new champions.
“My dream is not just the final,” Zheng said. “I know this little distance is still far away. There is still something that needs to go on.”
You Might Like:
Zheng Zaps Sabalenka For First Title In San Jose
Swiatek, Sabalenka, Gauff Lead 8 Of Top 10 In Stuttgart
Loaded Berlin Field Features Sabalenka, Rybakina Gauff And Jabeur
Sabalenka Sails Into 3rd Straight US Open SFs, Will Face Keys; Gauff v Muchova
Wimbledon Women’s Seedings: Swiatek, Sabalenka, Rybakina Lead Field