Aryna Sabalenka stuns tennis world in 'insane' scenes in Australian Open final

Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina put together an incredible final.

Aryna Sabalenka (pictured) breaks down in tears after winning the Australian Open.
Aryna Sabalenka (pictured) won her maiden grand slam after defeating Elena Rybakina in the Australian Open final. (Getty Images)

The tennis world has gone wild over the incredible women's Australian Open final after Aryna Sabalenka defeated Elena Rybakina in a thrilling three-set epic. Sabalenka lost her first set of the Australian Open after Rybakina started on fire in front of a packed Rod Laver Arena.

Sabalenka's serve wobbled under the pressure in the first set as Rybakina won the battle at the back of the court to win 6-4. However, Sabalenka lifted her game and hit winner after winner to run through the second set 6-3 and level the match.

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The third set was played at an incredible tempo and level as Sabalenka got a break and had the opportunity to serve for the championship at 5-4. Sabalenka had championship point, but her nerves got the better of her as she served a double fault.

Rybakina saved another match point after Sabalenka's forehand went wide. The drama of the final match continued as Sabalenka couldn't convert a third championship point. But the Belarusian didn't let another chance go begging as Rybakian's forehand went long handing Sabalenka her maiden grand slam title with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win.

"What an incredible match," Jelena Dokic said in commentary. The tennis world erupted over the incredible final, which lasted for more than two and half hours at the highest-level.

The Belarusian's watershed win completes a glorious unbeaten summer in which the 24-year-old also claimed the Adelaide International title and dropped only one set in 11 matches to vault herself back to World No.2. Her success completes one of the great transformations in sport after Sabalenka, gripped by serving yips, departed Melbourne last year following 56 soul-destroying double-faults in just four matches.

With a tour-topping 428 doubles for 2022, Sabalenka desperately turned to a psychologist - and the results have been stunning. The once-fragile, volatile unfulfilled talent hasn't lost since falling to Caroline Garcia in last year's season-sending championship final and out-aced Rybakina, the Open's ace leader, 17 to nine in the final.

Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina, pictured here posing with their trophies after the Australian Open final.
Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina pose with their trophies after the Australian Open final. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Ash Barty hands over Australian Open trophy

Earlier, Barty made an appearance to hand over the trophy. While Barty has denied any chance of making a return to tennis, she has made an appearance in Melbourne during the Australian Open.

And in a surprise move, Barty lifted the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup at Melbourne Park on Saturday night and symbolically moved it to the next champion's podium. She received a raucous ovation from adoring fans at Rod Laver Arena.

with AAP

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