We have reached the women’s final at the Australian Open. It’s the defending champion against a first-time Major finalist. Will Aryna Sabalenka repeat? Or will Qinwen Zheng become China’s second Grand Slam champion? Our writers share their thoughts on the match. Predicting this match are Jordan Reynolds, Andreas Pelekis, and Damian Kust. Who do you think will win?

Australian Open Women’s Final Predictions

Aryna Sabalenka vs Qinwen Zheng

Jordan:
There were high hopes for Zheng this season, who was voted the WTA’s most improved player last season. But her run in Melbourne has exceeded all expectations. She played Sabalenka once before at the 2023 US Open, which ended in a comfortable victory for the Belarusian. Zheng’s serve is absolutely pivotal to her chances. Sabalenka has been in devastating form from the baseline throughout the tournament and I struggle to see Zheng winning most of those exchanges. The pressure is on Sabalenka as the favourite, but I think she will handle it to win another Australian Open title.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2

Andreas:
Sabalenka’s proved to be the best player of the Australian Open so far, not dropping a set en route to the final. However, some nerves in her semifinal win over Gauff may be a preview for what is to come in the final. The World No. 2 led 5-2 in the first set, before finding herself two points from losing the set.

Yet, Zheng hasn’t played a Top 50 opponent this entire tournament. Her semifinal win over Yastremska was a big milestone for the Chinese No. 1, but Sabalenka is a massive step up. Zheng only claimed four of 11 break points in the semifinal, a number that has to improve against one of the fastest servers in the game. Sabalenka may be nervous early on and the first set should be tight, but look for Sabalenka to win her second Grand Slam on Saturday.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2

Damian:
Dayana Yastremska was a good trial run for this one with the matchup dynamic likely looking very similar. Zheng will need to be on the back foot more than she enjoys and her first serve percentage will be key. While the actual delivery is top class and in fact she has the most 1st serve points won of any top 50 player over the last 12 months, she only lands it about 51% of the time. Yastremska showed how you can abuse that by going after the 2nd serve. Sabalenka will do that with higher efficiency and has the heavy hitting as well to take the first strike away from Zheng.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 2

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

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