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Elena Rybakina vs Aryna Sabalenka - LIVE: Australian Open women’s final result as Sabalenka wins thriller

Follow live reaction from the Australian Open women’s final where Aryna Sabalenka completed a dramatic comeback to win a first grand slam title

Jamie Braidwood
Saturday 28 January 2023 12:45 GMT
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Aryna Sabalenka fought from a set down to defeat Elena Rybakina and win the Australian Open, her first grand slam title.

In a thrilling battle over two hours and 29 minutes, the 24-year-old from Belarus won 4-6 6-3 6-4 against the Wimbledon champion Rybakina, who was denied a second grand slam title.

In winning her first grand slam final, Sabalenka extended her winning run to 11 matches to start the season, but the fifth seed was forced to come from behind after losing her first set since that run began.

However Sabalenka, who started the year in red-hot form after fixing her serve and addressing her mental approach during the off-season, turned the match around with a powerful display of shot-making from the baseline.

Sabalenka won the match on her fourth Championship point was overwhelmed by emotion as she celebrated her first grand slam title.

Follow live reaction from the Australian Open women’s final, below:

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Aryna Sabalenka overcomes Elena Rybakina to win Australian Open in three-set thriller

Aryna Sabalenka’s first grand slam final began with a double fault. Her first Championship point, too, was a double fault. But in between, Sabalenka produced a near faultless display of the improvements she has made to her game, as the 24-year-old battled from a set down to defeat Elena Rybakina in a thrilling Australian Open final. Sabalenka’s first grand slam title required three more Championship points to close it out. There, as she had done so impressively since falling behind, Sabalenka kept her cool to prevail in what was an absorbing contest.

In almost two and a half hours on Rod Laver Arena, Sabalenka’s newly-found mental toughness was put under the fiercest of examinations by the Wimbledon champion. As Rybakina ramped up the pressure on the returns, Sabalenka went through the full array of emotions, as double faults were followed by aces, winners by unforced errors. She was up, down, on her haunches, pumping her first, gesticulating to her box, roaring on forehands. It made for a compelling sight as the momentum of the final shifted, turned, and finally swung the Belarusian’s way.

Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elena Rybakina to win Australian Open in three-set thriller

Sabalenka won a dramatic final 4-6 6-3 6-4 in almost two and a half hours to claim a first grand slam title

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2023 12:40
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Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elena Rybakina to win Australian Open

Aryna Sabalenka: “Thank you so much for everyone who made this tour happen. The tour director, the referees, line umpires, ball kids. Everyone who helped me do this week. Thank you for an amazing atmosphere. It was enjoyable to play in front of you.

“And my team - the craziest team on tour. We’ve been through a lot of downs last year. We worked so hard and you guys deserve this trophy. This is more about you than about me. Thank you so much for everything you do for me. I love you guys.

“Thank you for an amazing atmosphere. I hope next year I can come back stronger, can show you even better tennis and you guys will support me once more.”

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2023 11:56
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Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elena Rybakina to win Australian Open

Aryna Sabalenka: “First of all I want to say sorry for my English as I am still shaking and am super nervous!

“Secondly, it’s such an inspiration to receive this trophy from you [Billie Jean King]. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for our sport. I couldn’t be more thankful.

“I want to congratulate Elena for an incredible two weeks. You are such a great player. I hope we have many more battles and hopefully in finals of grand slams. Congratulations to your team. You guys are amazing and have done such a good job.”

(Getty Images)
Jamie Braidwood28 January 2023 11:45
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Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elena Rybakina to win Australian Open

Elena Rybakina: “First I would like to congratulate Aryna on the title and a great start to the season. I know how hard you have worked for that and your team.

“Good luck for the rest of the season and hopefully we are going to have many more battles.

“I want to say a big thank you to my team for the great job we have done; to my family, coach and president of the Kazakhstan Federation, thank you so much for the support.”

(Getty Images)
Jamie Braidwood28 January 2023 11:40
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Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elena Rybakina to win Australian Open

Ons Jabeur reacts to the Australian Open final. Sabalenka will be taking the Tunisian’s place at number two in the world rankings.

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2023 11:35
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Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elena Rybakina to win Australian Open

Billie Jean King will present the trophy to Aryna Sabalenka, who is a winner in her first grand slam final.

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2023 11:24
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Aryna Sabalenka defeats Elena Rybakina to win thrilling final

Such composure from Sabalenka to get over the line! What a thrilling match.

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2023 11:23
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Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 6-4 3-6 4-6 Aryna Sabalenka - Game, set and match!

Back to deuce... Sabalenka launches the first serve, Rybakina’s return is short, and Sabalenka powers the forehand winner!

Fourth Championship point... and Rybakina goes long! Sabalenka has done it! She has fought from a set down to defeat the Wimbledon champion, and she collapses to her back, overwhelmed by emotion!

What a final!

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2023 11:15
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Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 6-4 3-6 4-5 Aryna Sabalenka*

Two nervy points to start the game: Rybakina firing long on the forehand and then Sabalenka netting on the crosscourt shot.

A Sabalenka error allowed Rybakina a look at 15-30, but the Wimbledon champion then goes long!

30-30... Ace from Sabalenka!

Championship point... double fault! That was a huge second serve from Sabalenka, but it’s long!

Deuce... and Sabalenka fires the forehand winner crosscourt that catches the line! Stunning shot.

Second Championship point... but Rybakina hangs on with a great return!

Crosscourt winner from Rybakina! That’s so gutsy from the 23-year-old! Another winner onto the line.

Break point... but Sabalenka produces the huge serve out wide!

Deuce... but Rybakina nets on the forehand exchange!

Third Championship point... and Sabalenka goes long on the backhand! This is so, so tense!

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2023 11:10
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Australian Open 2023: Elena Rybakina 6-4 3-6 4-5 Aryna Sabalenka*

Rybakina was in a tricky spot at 15-15 but prevailed in the forehand exchange, before her serve got her to 40-15.

She gets the hold with a lovely forehand winner into the corner... and now Sabalenka will serve for the Australian Open title.

*denotes next server

Jamie Braidwood28 January 2023 11:03

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