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