Aryna Sabalenka breaks family rule after blistering Australian Open final win over Qinwen Zheng - 'I never'

Aryna Sabalenka breaks family rule after blistering Australian Open final win over Qinwen Zheng - 'I never'

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as Aryna Sabalenka wins Australian Open

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 27/01/2024

- 10:48

The 25-year-old has now claimed a second Grand Slam title of her career

Aryna Sabalenka has broken her own rule about her family after beating Qinwen Zheng to win the Australian Open on Saturday morning.

The 25-year-old won 6-3, 6-2 to defend the title she won Down Under 12 months ago.

Sabalenka didn't drop a set during the entire tournament and is now the toast of the tennis world after becoming the first woman since Victoria Azarenka to defend the crown in Australia.

Speaking after her win, the tennis star said she doesn't like to discuss her family publicly whenever she claims a title.

Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka has sent a message to her family after beating Qinwen Zheng to win the Australian Open on Saturday morning


But Sabalenka decided to break her own rule by thanking them for all their support.

"I never speak about my family in the winning speeches before but I have to say thank you for everything they’ve done for me," she said.

"I love you so much and you are my biggest motivation and everything I am doing, I’m doing for you. I send you love and I really miss you so much.

"To the crowd, thank you so much for the support for these two weeks.

"I really enjoy playing in front of you and that’s what makes this place special. I love you so much and I can’t wait to come back."

Sabalenka also paid tribute to her team.

"Team – wow. You see guys, I put a little bit of pressure on them in the Brisbane final and we did a little bit better in this one," she joked.

"Thank you so much for being by my side no matter what. Without you I wouldn’t be able to achieve so much in my sport.

"Without me you wouldn’t be that good as well so let’s accept that fact (smiling).

"It’s been an amazing two weeks lifting this trophy one more time, and I’m really speechless.

"As always my speech is going to be weird, It’s not my superpower but I’ll try my best."

Sabalenka displayed a touch of class, too, by wishing Zheng all the best for the future.

The Chinese star was unable to cope with the brilliance of her opponent, with the pressure seemingly getting the better of her.

Sabalenka is confident, however, that Zheng will bounce back and play in more Grand Slams in the future.

"First of all I want to thank Evonne [Goolagong] for being such an inspiration for all of us and receiving this beautiful trophy from you is a pleasure for me so thank you very much," she stated.


Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka is expecting Qinwen Zheng to bounce back from her defeat in the final of the Australian Open


"Second I want to congratulate Qinwen on an incredible couple of weeks in Australia.

"I know this feeling. It’s really tough to lose in the finals but you are such an incredible player and such a young girl, you are going to be in many more finals and you’re going to get it. Congrats to you and your team on an amazing job.

"Thank you for everyone who makes this tournament happen – Tennis Australia, the Australian government and everyone who has helped me these two weeks."

Zheng, meanwhile, is also confident she'll continue to perform in the future after a terrific Australian Open campaign.

"First of all I want to say congratulations to you Aryna – you had such a wonderful match here," she said.

Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka kisses the Australian Open trophy after her brilliant win over Qinwen Zheng


"It was my first final and I’m feeling a little bit (of) pity but that’s how it is, an experience for me.

"I want to say thanks for all the fans who come here to watch me. I feel I could do better but I didn’t in this match but I wanted to say thanks to my team to help me arrive here.

"I really enjoyed to play in this Australian Open. An amazing memory for me.

"I’m sure there is going to be more and better for me in the future and thanks for all the sponsors, and thanks to all of you guys."

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