Sabalenka and Zheng progress to historic decider

ARYNA Sabalenka and Qinwen Zheng are the Women’s Singles Finalists at the 2024 Australian Open 2024, after they won their respective semi-finals yesterday.

Sabalenka was the first to progress through after she defeated Coco Gauff in straight sets.

After winning the first set in a tie breaker, Sabalenka had things a little easier in the second to take the match 7-6, 6-4 and reverse the result of the last time these two met.

Gauff won the aces count, but also served six more double faults than Sabalenka did. However, crucially for Sabalenka she had the higher percentage for first serve in and wins off first and second serve.

Reflecting on being reigning champion and winning her first major title a year ago, Sabalenka said that “I would say emotionally I’ll be… very ready to fight, not going crazy,” Sabalenka said.

“Because when you play first final you get emotional and rushing things sometimes. When you’re third time in the finals, you’re, like, ‘okay, it’s a final, it’s okay’.

“It’s just another match, and you’re able to separate yourself from that thing. Just focus on your game. That’s it, actually… I’m defending champion, but worst case, I’m, like, ‘okay, I’m gonna lose this tournament, and it’s less points to defend next year’.

“That’s kind of like helping me to just stay focused and just try your best in each match without thinking about defending something.”


Sabalenka was joined in the final later in the evening by Zheng, who progressed to her first Grand Slam Final by ending the breakthrough tournament of Dayana Yastremska.

On the 10th anniversary of Li Na’s progression to the final, Yastremska put up a fair fight, but in the end was no match for Zheng, with the Chinese 12th seed ultimately winning 6-4, 6-4.

Zheng served more aces than Yastremska did, and also served less double faults. Crucially for Zheng, she also had the higher percentage for first serve in and wins off first and second serve.

Speaking post match, Zheng said that “It feels unbelievable”.

“I’m super-excited to have such a great performance today and arrive in the final. That’s my dream since I was a kid.”

“Can’t be more special than here in Australian Open,” she smiled. “I’m really happy, but I know there is still another fight to go.”


2024 Australian Open – Day 12

[2] A. Sabalenka def. [4] C.Gauff 7-6, 6-4

[12] Q. Zheng def. D. Yastremska 6-4, 6-4

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