She improved to 11-0 in 2023, and the only set she has dropped all season was the opener on Saturday against Wimbledon champion Rybakina.
But Sabalenka turned things around with an aggressive style that resulted in 51 winners, 20 more than her opponent. She used 17 aces to overcome seven double-faults.
And she managed to break the big-serving Rybakina three times, the last coming for a 4-3 lead in the third set that she never relinquished.
Sabalenka was required to work for the championship, double-faulting on her initial match point and requiring three more to close things out.
When Rybakina sent a forehand long to cap the final after nearly 2 1/2 hours, Sabalenka dropped to her back on the court and stayed down for a bit, covering her face as her eyes welled with tears.
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