WATCH: Serena Williams Wins Point With Insane Defensive Skills Against Aryna Sabalenka at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/13/2021, 10:43 PM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts during her fourth round match against Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Serena Williams had a tough time with Aryna Sabalenka in the fourth round of Australian Open 2021. Both the players played a high quality first set, with Serena wrestling past to win it 6-4. But the set featured enthralling rallies, and one being spectacularly gruesome.

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When Sabalenka was serving at 4-5 there was a great rally. She was already trailing 15-0 in the game and needed to win the game to stay in the set, thus she fought hard for the point. As she served to Serena’s backhand, the 23-time Grand Slam champ returned it to Sabalenka’s backhand.

Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her fourth round match against Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

From there, both the players exchanged gruesome backhands. The whole stadium was echoing with their grunts. As Sabalenka grunted harder and hit the ball with pace, Serena returned the favor with more aggression.

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Sabalenka pulled the trigger with a down the line stroke to Serena’s forehand. Serena did her everything to reach the ball and just hit the ball with a loud grunt.

Serena Williams toils to win the point

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The ball landed close to the baseline, and the players resumed the rally from the baseline. Sabalenka then pulled the trigger with a down the line forehand towards Serena’s backhand. Serena returned the ball high enough for Sabalenka to smash.

But the Belarusian missed badly, and the ball failed to go past the net. Serena forged a great defense to force a mistake from Sabalenka.

In the end, Serena broke Sabalenka for the first time in the match and won the first set of the tie, 6-4. But the rally showed there was little to differentiate between the two athletes. Serena won her 7th consecutive set at Aussie Open 2021 and looked like her 2017 self that won the Australian Open that year.

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Bhavishya Mittal

966 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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