It could prove one of female tennis' most enduring rivalries over the next decade. These two have already faced off in a Grand Slam fact, that was little over a month ago, when they competed in the US Open doubles and Sabalenka won.


Barty has a natural aptitude for doubles, carved out from the first time she could hold a racket and drilled into her by long-time doubles partner and mentor, Casey Dellacqua.

Like most Aussies, she has phenomenal ability at the net, but she compliments this doubles-heavy skillset with a solid all-round game.

She has the ability to disguise shots, recover positions and unsettle her opponents with effective slices before blasting them off the court with ripping forehands.

It's all wrapped up in a neat 166 centimetre package with an exceptional sense of positional awareness.


Where Barty lacks? experience, coolness under pressure, rapid mobility and balance, fiery competitiveness and consistent power.


Sabalenka is renowned for her whopping groundstrokes. Currently ranked 14th in the world in doubles, she is arguably the superior singles player already.

At only 21-years-old, ranked in the top ten and with a series of pedigreed wins highlighting her as one of the fastest up and comers in the women's game. She also helped guide Belarus to the final of the 2017 Fed Cup.

They missed out on this year's final to Barty and compatriot Sam Stosur.

While Sabalenka's serve is powerful and accurate, her own achilles heel is her youthful exuberance.


Expect 40 winners and 39 unforced errors, each as entertaining as the last.

The general consensus is if Sabalenka can mature in her decision-making, Belarus will have discovered their next Victoria Azarenka before the progenitor is even finished. An interesting dynamic between the two, to say the least.


On a hard surface, Sabalenka does have the ability to blast Barty off the court. Unfortunately for the Australian, it does depend a little on the Belarusian's temperament, as if she's truly on her game, Barty's variations may not be enough.

However, despite a very strong beginning to the tournament, the quarter-final began to show a few cracks and Sabalenka easily could have gone out to Elena Rybakina after losing the second set of their three-setter 6-1.

Likewise, Barty has had a tough run to this stage as well.

Barty will need to be at her most frustrating to get underneath Sabalenka's skin. She'll also need to be a fighter and willing to go for her shots early to avoid rallies - Sabalenka could wear her out too easily from the baseline.

We expect a three-setter, but it's a little too tough to say which way this will go.