Elena Rybakina and Coco Gauff Crowned WTA Tour’s First Champions of 2024, Rafael Nadal’s Surprising Farewell to the Australian Open

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Rybakina and the Brisbane International 2024 women’s singles championship trophy

Elena Rybakina defeated Aryna Sabalenka with a completely crushing score of 6-0 and 6-3, after only 70 minutes; and through that, she became the first Champion of the WTA Tour 2024.

That was a rather surprising result, because fans still expected that in the match “recreating the final of the Australian Open 2023”, “two very old acquaintances” would have to compete more tensely and tensely.

The moment Rybakina won

But in fact, Rybakina created an overwhelming victory in a WTA Tour final, which since 2000, she is the third person to do: Only “losing” 3 games against representatives of the top 3 in the world.

Before Rybakina, only Serena Williams (in the 2007 Australian Open final) and Flavia Penneta (in the 2014 Indian Wells final) had done the same thing…

In the final of the 2007 Australian Open, Serena Williams played and destroyed Maria Sharapova (then ranked No. 1 in the world) 6-1, 6-2.

Meanwhile, in the final of Indian Wells 2014, Flavia Penneta also crushed Agnieszka Radwanska (at that time ranked 2nd in WTA) 6-2, 6-1.

With this result, Rybakina has won 6 major and minor titles throughout her career. She also won every level and tournament system of the WTA Tour, from the Grand Slam (Wimbledon), to the WTA 1,000 (Indian Wells, Rome), then the WTA 500 (Brisbane) and even the WTA 250 (Bucharest, Hobart).

The tennis player was born and raised in Russia, but in 2018 chose to go to Kazakhstan to develop her career (and now, she shows that that choice was completely correct) sharing in the happiness of the title. debut…

“I want to thank my team for everything we created together, and of course, for the difficult pre-season we went through together. Last year was truly amazing. Hopefully this year we will continue like that.”

For her part, Sabalenka did not appear too disappointed when she missed her first title in the new year, and also just experienced her first loss in the Lower Lands since last year.

“I have a few words to say to my team… We did very poorly today, losing 0-6 and 3-6. It’s all your fault,” joked the female tennis player who just experienced her first loss after 15 consecutive wins in Australia.

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Sabalenka and Rybakina on the podium receiving awards

At the Auckland Open (ASB Classic), a parallel tournament, defending US Open Champion – Coco Gauff became the 2nd Champion of the WTA Tour 2024, when she came from behind to defeat “Ukrainian Beauty” Elina Svitolina with scores 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 and 6-3.

Gauff (only 19 years old this year) is increasingly worthy of America’s expectations, after becoming the heir to Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens at the Grand Slam.

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Gauff happily kissed the championship trophy

“This is the first time in my life that I successfully defended the championship. So I’m really happy to be able to do that today.”

“This year, the tournament is very different. Last year, due to the rain, we played most of our matches under cover and there were only a few spectators, so it was great to play in front of mostly packed crowds every match. ”.

*In a very notable unexpected incident, Rafael Nadal announced on his official Twitter account (X) that he will have to say goodbye to this year’s Australian Open…

Nadal wrote: “Hello everyone, during my last match in Brisbane I had a small muscle problem and as you know, it worried me”.

“When I first arrived in Melbourne, I had the opportunity to have an MRI, the results showed that I had a small upper tear, but not in the location where I had been injured and that was good news”.

“Right now, I’m not ready to compete at the highest level in five-game matches. I’m flying back to Spain to see a doctor, undergo some treatment and rest” .

“I have worked very hard over the past year for this comeback, and as I have always mentioned, my goal is to reach the highest level again within 3 months”.

“The bad news is, I won’t be able to play in front of the passionate crowd in Melbourne, but it’s not too bad news and we all remain optimistic about how the season is going”.

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The image of Nadal saying goodbye to Brisbane was also saying goodbye to Melbourne

“I really wanted to play here in Australia, and I had the opportunity to play a few matches, which made me feel happy and positive. Thank you for all the encouragement and appointments. See you again. Rafa!”.

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