Aryna Sabalenka won the Australian Open on Saturday, becoming the first player to win a Grand Slam after rallying from a set down to defeat Elena Rybakina.
The hard-hitting Belarusian sobbed on the court after defeating the Wimbledon champion in a two hours and twenty-eight minute arm-wrestle on Rod Laver Arena, winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Before receiving a heartfelt hug from Moscow-born Rybakina, who actively participated in an exciting match between two of the most potent hitters in the women’s game, the 24-year-old Sabalenka wiped away her tears.
Sabalenka, the fifth seed, then ran to her player’s box to celebrate with her team.
“Thank you, my team, the craziest team on the tour. We’ve been through a lot of I would say downs last year,” Sabalenka said, addressing her team after receiving the trophy.
“Thank you so much for what you are doing for me. I love you guys.”
She added, “I want to congratulate Elena for an incredible two weeks. You’re such a great player and of course we are going to have many more battles, hopefully in finals of the Grand Slams.”
With vicious groundstrokes, pinpoint serving, and fantastic rallies from two players at the peak of their game, it was a perfect end to two weeks of drama at Melbourne Park.