The 25-year-old successfully defended her crown in Melbourne as she defeated China’s Qinwen Zheng in straight sets in the final of the mega-event with a score of 6-3, 6-2.
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Osaka, who recently returned to the court after a gap of more than one year, was recently quoted in a report where she stated that the biggest difference she noticed this year was the positive energy around Sabalenka.
"The biggest difference that I’ve seen since coming back on tour, granted I have my headphones off now, it’s just she has a different energy around her, I see her smiling more. So that’s really nice and it’s really just cool to see,” she said.
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"I've always felt like she was a player that people didn’t really want to play. And that’s something that’s very powerful. I'm not really surprised by any of this. I feel like there’s players that people talk about and when you see them achieve their potential, it’s not surprising. It’s just kind of more of a 'time can only tell' moment."
Osaka’s own return did not go as planned as she lost in the first round of the Australian Open to France’s Caroline Garcia with a score of 6-4, 7-6.