Sabalenka becomes a member of the Australian Open queens league.

Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka kisses the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after defeating Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina in the women's singles final match on day thirteen of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 28, 2023. - -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP) / -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE -- (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Aryna Sabalenka defeated Elena Rybakina, the 22nd seed from Kazakhstan, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, on Saturday to win her first Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open in Melbour.

Rybakina grabbed the opening set in a nail-biting final between two of the sport’s most exciting power hitters.

With her 11th consecutive victory of the year, Sabalenka will also be back at her career-high position of number two, just behind Iga Swiatek.

With her increased mental stability and service, the Belarusian began to reap the benefits and became a real threat in major competitions.

Due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Sabalenka became the first neutral athlete to win a major championship. Russian and Belarusian athletes were only permitted to compete as individual athletes at Melbourne Park without regard to national affiliation.

After securing the victory, she collapsed to the ground in joy and approached Rybakina’s side of the court to hug her before ascending to the players’ box to embrace her tearful entourage.

“I am really grateful for the wonderful atmosphere,” Sabalenka said, accepting the trophy from the former world champion Billie Jean King. “And of course my team—I would say the craziest team on tour. We worked so hard last year, but we had a lot of setbacks.

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