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First Grand Slam in her career: Sabalanka won the Australian Championship

The Belarusian came back from behind against Rivakina on the way to her greatest achievement after 6:4, 3:6, 4:6 at the end of two and a half hours of exciting tennis

Ten years after Victoria Azarenka was the last to do so, Aryna Savalanka Today (Saturday) put Belarus on the women’s tennis map again when she won the Australian Open – her first career Grand Slam. The 5th ranked in the competition did so after close to two and a half hours of exciting and volatile tennis, at the end of which she beat Kazakhstan’s Yelena Rybakina 6:4, 3:6, 4:6. Although Rybakina was ranked lower than her opponent, and she also lost to her in the three previous meetings between the two, But she reached this position more experienced by virtueWinning Wimbledon last year. Sabalenka struggled in the opening of her first career major final and was broken twice in the first set. Rivakina celebrated with 4:6, and it seemed that she was on her way to a second Grand Slam in less than a year. Precisely after she lost a set for the first time in the tournament, and for the first time in 2023, Savalanka managed to produce a turn in the plot. One break that raised her to 1:3 in the second set was enough to force a third set after a difficult 3:6. The third and decisive set was no less challenging, but a critical break that raised the new winner to 3:4 made the difference. Rivakina managed to save three championship points from her opponent, but on the fourth time she missed, and Savalanka celebrated with4:6 after two and a half hours of tense tennis.

After the first service games passed peacefully for the two, Rybakina broke Sabalenka’s serves and went up 1:2. The Kazakh continued to dominate, including a game in which she won on the zero on the way to 2:4. Savalanka managed to get a critical break and equalize to 4:4, but Rybakina recovered on the way to her second break – 4:5 to the Kazakh. From there she went on to another game down to zero on the way to a 4:6 victory in the first set after 35 minutes of tennis.

After the first set was characterized by short and one-sided games, at the beginning of the second set we got a completely different picture when the two tennis players dragged each other until to the end Rivakina was not savedTwo opportunities to break already in the first game. Then, at the end of a particularly long and tiring game, Savalanka achieved the long-awaited break and went up 1:3. After an equally long game, Savalanka increased the gap even more – 1:4. With a 2:5 advantage, Savalanka missed two set points and a break, but later corrected and forced a third set after 3:6 in 57 minutes.

Both players kept their serves, Rivakina escaped from Savalanka’s break point and went up to 2:3 . Rivakina was broken in her next service game, and Savalanka went up to 3:4, which brought her very close to the trophy. Savalanka managed to hold serve in the next game, and reached her service game with a 4:5 advantage. After dramaBig and three championship points that Rybakina managed to save, for the fourth time she missed and Savalanka celebrated her first career Grand Slam with 4:6 after 57 minutes of a dramatic campaign.

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