Reigning Champion Aryna Sabalenka was forced to start her title defence after midnight on Day 1 of the 2024 Australian Open.

Possibly out of frustration due the late start, Sabalenka recorded victory in a record 53 minutes, dropping just one game.

Her opponent qualifier Ella Seidel playing in her maiden Grand Slam won only 10 points whilst losing the first set  0-6 in just 22 minutes but avoided the dreaded double bagel losing the second 1-6.

The victorious Belarus said in her post match interview  “Super happy to be back in Melbourne – I have incredible memories from here,”

“Hopefully I can stay here till the very last day”

“I still need to work for my dreams. It’s been so amazing I have been able to achieve so many goals in my tennis and there are more to come.”

In addition to  winning the 2023 Australian Open she also reached the semi-finals in Paris and Wimbledon before losing to Coco Gauff in the final of the US Open becoming  the first player since Serena Williams in 2016 to reach the semi-finals at all four Slams in a single season.

Main photo:-Aryna Sabalenka cuddles the 2023 Australian Open trophy by ROGER PARKER INTERNATIONAL SPORTS FOTOS LTD