Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka successfully defended her Australian Open title by beating Qinwen Zheng in the 2024 women's singles final. Issei Kato/Reuters

Aryna Sabalenka produced yet another dominant display to win a second successive Australian Open women's single's title on Saturday.

The Belarusian second seed saw off Chinese 12th seed, Qinwen Zheng, 6-3 6-2 in Melbourne to secure the second Grand Slam trophy of her career.

The consistency which Sabalenka showed across the tournament was unmatched as she did not drop a single set throughout her run, making her just the fifth female player in the 21st century to achieve this at the Australian Open.

Sabalenka's victory also makes her the first woman since 2013 to successfully defend her Australian Open title, with her fellow native, Victoria Azarenka, achieving the feat back in 2013.

After avenging her US Open final loss by seeing off America's Coco Gauff in the semi-finals, Sabalenka was in a very confident mood heading into Saturday's final. Zheng was playing in her first-ever Grand Slam final after securing her place by beating unseeded Ukrainian, Dayana Yastremska, in straight sets in the last four.

Sabalenka wasted no time in getting in front in the final as she broke Zheng at the earliest opportunity, before holding off three break points from Zheng in the next game to race 3-0 ahead.

The world number two then managed to hold serve for her next three service games to clinch the opening set. Zheng was struggling to get any real success in the match, as she began to look well short of the level required to compete with Sabalenka on the court.

The fortunes of the 12th seed did not improve in the second set as Sabalenka broke her straight away in the first game.

The reigning champion refused to get complacent and continued to dominate Zheng as she landed another break in the fifth game to go 4-1 up. Sabalenka rapidly reached the point to where she was serving for the championship at 5-2 in front, and after not converting four opportunities, she finally secured the win and a repeat victory at the Australian Open.

Following her win, Sabalenka reflected fondly on her tournament, saying: "It's been an amazing couple of weeks. I couldn't imagine myself lifting this trophy one more time. It's an unbelievable feeling."

Sabalenka also touched on her US Open final loss from last year and how she has gotten stronger because of it. She explained: "I have more experience playing last stages of the Grand Slams, and I had this really sad moment for me in the US Open. That loss motivated me so much to work even harder and to improve my game."

Despite coming out victorious in Melbourne, Sabalenka remains at number two in the newly released WTA rankings, but she has narrowed down the points gap on world number one, Iga Swiatek.

Sabalenka will now look to build on her impressive start to the year and find success at the year's three remaining Grand Slams. Having got to at least the semi-final stage of the other Grand Slams last year, the two-time Australian Open champion will be eager to get over the line in those tournaments and add to her collection of major championships.

Zheng acknowledged that her performance was not as good as it needed to be in the final, stating: "It's my first final here and I'm feeling it's a little bit of a pity, but I want to say thanks to all the fans who come here to watch me. I feel complicated because I could have done better but I didn't."

Despite the final being a disappointment for Zheng, she has leapt up by eight places to a career-high number seven in the latest WTA rankings.

Elsewhere, Jannik Sinner won the first major championship of his career on Sunday in the men's singles final against Daniil Medvedev, as he climbed from two sets down to stage a remarkable comeback victory.

In doing so, he becomes the first Italian player to win either the men's or women's singles title at the Australian Open.