Australian Open 2023 women’s final LIVE: Elena Rybakina faces Aryna Sabalenka in battle for Australian Open crown

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  • Junior final pushes girls to tears
  • Sam Smith previews women’s singles final
  • ‘Big test’ facing Sabalenka in final

Alina Korneeva.Credit:getty

Sam Smith previews women’s singles final

Nine commentator Sam Smith reveals how she expects the women’s singles final to play out.

History favours Sabalenka

Sabalenka heads into this clash having won all three meetings between the pair, the last of which a fourth-round clash at Wimbledon in 2021 – 12 months before Rybakina was crowned the queen of the All England Club.

However, the Belarusian hasn’t had it all her own way against Rybakina, and on each occasion has needed three sets to overcome the Kazakh.

After dropping a set in each of her first three matches at this year’s Australian Open, Rybakina has found her groove, winning her last three matches in straight-sets, including the prized scalp of pre-tournament favourite and world No.1 Iga Swiatek.

Sabalenka, meanwhile, has been much more authoritative, failing to drop a set en route to the final.

Sabalenka (five) is currently ranked 20 places higher than Rybakina (25) in the world and also has eight more WTA titles to her credit than the 22nd seed (11-3).

But Rybakina, 23, has the advantage in the tally that matters most – grand slam wins (1-0), and 24-year-old Sabalenka will be desperate to catch up tonight.

Elena Rybakina.Credit:Getty Images

‘Big test’ facing Sabalenka in final

Aryna Sabalenka will need to fight off demons with her serve to match Elena Rybakina.

Power hitters Sabalenka and Rybakina are ready

Saturday night’s final provides an unmistakable reminder of the intersection between sport and politics – with bans as common in tennis vernacular as backhands – but the showdown between Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina will also showcase the wonder of power hitting in the women’s game.

Belarusian Sabalenka, playing in Melbourne as a neutral, is within touching distance of a grand slam win that will come with no recognition of her nationality. In a separate twist, her opponent, Moscow-born Rybakina, the reigning Wimbledon champion, switched her allegiance to Kazakhstan long before Russian president Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.

Click here to read more.

Aryna Sabalenka (left) and Elena Rybakina meet in Saturday’s women’s decider.Credit:Getty Images

Grand Slam Daily – the stage is set

Neroli Meadows and Wally Masur take a closer look at the men’s semi-finals, Djokovic answers questions, and a full preview of the women’s final between Rybakina and Sabalenka.

Greetings, everyone

Good evening everybody and welcome to our live, rolling blog of the 2023 Australian Open women’s final between Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka.

It promises to be a fantastic climax to this year’s tournament between the 22nd seed from Kazakhstan and the No.5 seed from Belarus.

Rybakina is aiming to make it two grand slams out of three after claiming her maiden major title at Wimbledon last year, while Sabalenka is gunning for her first ever grand slam trophy.

This is the furthest both players have been at the Australian Open and while Rybakina has already featured in a grand slam final, this is Sabalenka’s first appearance in a major decider.

But the action doesn’t stop when the women do, because Australian wildcard pairing Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler take to the court afterwards in the men’s doubles final when they meet Monaco’s Hugo Nys and Poland’s Jan Zielinski.

Can Hijikata and Kubler emulate what another Aussie pair in Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis did last year at Melbourne Park? We will find out in a few hours’ time.

Sabalenka (left) has the advantage on both the forehand and backhand side over Rybakina.Credit:Getty

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