Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka is gearing up for an emotional clash against rising Chinese star Zheng Qinwen in the Australian Open final on Jan 27. While Sabalenka is confident about her emotional readiness, Zheng, in her first Grand Slam final, believes destiny is on her side.
Sabalenka, ranked World No. 2, aims to secure her second Grand Slam title on Rod Laver Arena. Having experienced the pressure of a final before, she remains focused on her game, aiming to become the first woman since Victoria Azarenka in 2013 to successfully defend the Melbourne Park title.
Zheng, the 12th seed, may lack experience in major finals, but her rapid rise to stardom has positioned her as a formidable opponent. Inspired by her idol Li Na, Zheng sees destiny playing a role in her bid for victory on the 10-year anniversary of Li’s triumph.
Despite facing opponents outside the top 50 en route to the final, Zheng acknowledges the challenge of handling the pressure. She recognizes Sabalenka’s prowess as the biggest hitter on the tour and emphasizes the need to control her emotions in the crucial match.
The Chinese finalist, affectionately nicknamed “Queen Wen” by fans, has demonstrated her skill by winning her first WTA titles and reaching the quarter-finals at the US Open. While Sabalenka acknowledges Zheng’s strengths, both players, occasional practice partners, anticipate a tough battle.
Sabalenka praises Zheng’s heavy forehand, agility, and fighting spirit. She expects a competitive match, acknowledging Zheng’s aggressive style and predicting her ascent to the top 10.
As the Australian Open approaches its climax, tennis enthusiasts eagerly await the showdown between the defending champion and the determined Chinese contender.