Tennis player Aryna Sabalenka has celebrated her first Grand Slam tournament victory.

The 24-year-old Belarusian prevailed at the Australian Open in the high-class women’s final against Wimbledon winner Jelena Rybakina from Kazakhstan 4: 6, 6: 3, 6: 4 and was the first player to win a major tournament under a neutral flag. Because of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, Russians and Belarusians are only allowed to compete as neutral athletes in Melbourne.

At her Grand Slam final premiere in the Rod Laver Arena, Sabalenka improved after she had to give up a set for the first time this year. In the third round she managed the decisive break to make it 4:3. She converted her fourth match point after 2:28 hours. In addition to the title and prize money equivalent to around 1.95 million euros, Sabalenka can also look forward to climbing to second place in the world rankings.

Russian-born Rybakina, who has been playing for Kazakhstan since 2018, is the first player in the nation to climb into the top ten and can console herself with prize money of 1.06 million euros.