REPORT: Key detail left off Aryna Sabalenka’s Australian Open trophy [VIDEO]

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Aryna Sabalenka was finally able to capture her first championship at the Australian Open after defeating Elena Rybakina in three sets on Saturday.

Following the traditional trophy presentation and photoshoot inside Rod Laver Arena, Sabalenka finally caught a good look at the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup, the Women’s Singles Champion trophy.

“‘Oh my god, I already have my name!” Sabalenka exclaimed to Nine’s World Wide of Sports. “Wow. This is just actually unbelievable. It’s all the stars. All those names.”

As she looked at her prize, television cameras zoomed in on the trophy to show the new champion’s name next to previous winners.

However, unlike the traditional format, Sabalenka’s name was engraved without her home country Belarus listed next to her name.

The year’s previous two winners Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka have abbreviations for Australia and Japan respectively, next to their name.

Since Russian’s invasion of Ukraine, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) have prohibited Russian and Belarusian player from competing in events unless they play under a neutral flag.

The ATP and WTA introduce the decision in March 2022 due to Belarus’ support of Russia.

Sabalenka played with a white flag next to her name instead of Belarus’ red, green, and white flag, during this year’s Australian Open.

“I think everyone still knows that I’m Belarusian player. That’s it,” she said after the win.

Reporter Neil McLeman posted an up-close picture of the trophy.


Sabalenka tweeted, “Wooow guys…what just happened? I have a fear that this was all a dream and l’m about to wake up. It’s all still sinking in, but I could not be happier in this moment. Thank you so much for all the support during this few weeks,I really appreciate it.”

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