The Australian Open is one of the four biggest tennis tournaments in the world in which both men and women professional tennis players compete for the title. These are otherwise known as “Grand Slams.” The official names for the men’s and women’s circuits are The Association of Tennis Professions, the men’s circuit, and Women’s Tennis Association. Every year starts out with the Australian Open, followed by Rolland Garros (the French Open), Wimbledon Championships, and the U.S. Open. The Australian Open and U.S. Open are both played on hard courts, while Roland Garros is played on red clay, and the Wimbledon Championships is played on grass courts. 

On Jan. 27 and 28, 2024 25-year-old Aryna Sabalenka, ranked second in the world, and 22-year-old Jannik Sinner, ranked fourth in the world, both captured the Championship title in the 2024 Australian Open. In the women's singles tournament, in the championship match, Sabalenka swiftly defended and defeated 21-year-old Qinwen Zheng, ranked 15 in the world, from China, 6-3, 6-2 — in one hour and 16 minutes. In the men’s singles tournament, Sinner overcame world number three, 27-year-old Daniil Medvedev, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, with a final match time of three hours and 44 minutes.

Sabalenka and Sinner each had a similar yet challenging journey to the finals. From the first round to the quarter-finals, Sabalenka only dropped 16 games. In fact, she did not drop a set the entire tournament and surpassed her competitors with a 14-match winning streak from last year’s Australian Open to this one.

Sabalenka’s closest match occurred in the semifinals when she defeated the champion of the 2023 US Open, 19-year-old Cori (Coco) Gauff from the United States, 7-6(2), 6-4, with a final time of one hour and 42 minutes. After defeating Gauff, with some time to reflect after her win, Sabalenka paid her respects to Gauff by stating, “She's a great player, always tough battles against her. I think the key was that I was able to stay focused no matter what, no matter what the score was, I just keep trying my best, keep fighting for it.” In response to her defeat, Gauff stated, “Tough match for me tonight. Overall a positive tournament.”

With confidence on her side, Sabalenka was emotionally prepared to compete in the final, as this is her third Grand Slam final. Sabalenka showcases her can-do attitude by stating, “I'd say emotionally I'll be very ready to fight. Not going crazy." She added, “Because when you play your first final, you get emotional and rush things sometimes. When you're third time in the finals, you're like, OK, it's a final. It's OK. It's just another match. You're able to separate yourself from that thing. Just focus on your game.” On the other side of the court, prior to the championship, Zheng recognized her accomplishment by getting to the final by stating, “It feels unbelievable. The feeling is incredible to arrive at my first Grand Slam final."

On the men’s side, Sinner achieved a remarkable milestone in his career, winning his first Grand Slam title. Similar to Sabalenka, it took quite a few matches until one of his opponents could win just one set off of him. Some players that did not get a set off of him included 27-year-old Karen Khachanov, ranked 15th in the world and 26-year-old Andrey Rublev, ranked fifth in the world. Prior to their matches, Sinner had a two to one head-to-head record with Khachanov and a five to two head-to-head record with Rublev. 

However, the player to give Sinner a competitive match that resulted in him losing a set was 24-time Grand Slam Champion Novak Djokovic, ranked number one in the world. Prior to their semifinal match, their head-to-head record was four to two, with 36-year-old Djokovic in the lead. Regardless of his odds, Sinner toughed it out against adversity, where he upsetted Djokovic in four sets. 

After reflecting on his loss, Djokovic expressed disappointment adding, “I was, in a way, shocked with my level, in a bad way” followed by, “There was not much I was doing right in the first two sets. I guess this is one of the worst Grand Slam matches I've ever played. At least that I remember. Not a very pleasant feeling playing this way. But at the same time, credit to him for doing everything better than me, in every aspect of the game.” 

Sinner saw the disappointment and moments of weakness while he was playing against Djokovic, as Sinner explained in a professional manner, “It was a very tough match. I started really well. He missed two sets and I felt like he wasn’t feeling great. I tried to keep pushing.” The post-match conference comments are very telling as to what happened during the match. 

Although it is not perfectly clear as to when their next match will be, the public is hoping to see Sabalenka and Sinner competing very soon after their success in Melbourne, Australia.