They are two of the biggest hitters on the Hologic WTA Tour, but raw power won’t be the only factor in Sunday’s Australian Open final. Instead, this matchup between Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina could come down to patience.

“In these conditions, to serve full, full power, it’s not easy,” Rybakina said. “The ball is not really going. Yeah, the same on the baseline. Just to play more deeper and do the same thing, try to come forward, just to expect maybe longer rallies than usual.”

Semifinal Roundup: Rybakina d. Azarenka | Sabalenka d. Linette

Both of these players are hard-wired to attack; they both possess the rare ability to end points with a single stroke from anywhere on the court. But with conditions in Rod Laver Arena playing slower than usual, which one will show the fortitude -- against their aggressive character -- to hit those few extra shots before a true opening occurs?

Alex Macpherson and Greg Garber break it down:

Advantage, Rybakina

Elena Rybakina is too low key to make a big deal out of being on a mission. But don't let her demeanor, or her No.22 seeding, fool you. The Wimbledon champion started her Australian Open campaign out on Court 13, and over the past fortnight has let her racquet do the talking.

Rybakina's made some big statements in Melbourne -- not with her words, but with her tournament-leading 44 aces and the 156 points out of 196 won behind her first serve so far.

She's faced lights-out power (Danielle Collins and Jelena Ostapenko), the aura of a World No.1 (Iga Swiatek) and the experience of a two-time champion (Victoria Azarenka) -- and snuffed out each disparate challenge. In the first set against Azarenka, Rybakina even did so without her prime weaponry to hand, edging a tiebreak despite a 48% first-serve percentage.

Sabalenka vs. Rybakina: Three thoughts ahead of the Australian Open final

Sabalenka, by contrast, has had a less difficult path. During her 10-match winning streak, she has not faced a major champion, and only one Top 10 player (Belinda Bencic in the fourth round). None of her opponents in Melbourne has offered as much firepower as Rybakina will send her way.

On the surface, the head-to-head favors Sabalenka, who leads 3-0. But all three of those matches occurred when Sabalenka was established near the top of the game, while Rybakina routinely delivered potential but rarely intangibles. Despite this, all three were tight three-setters, the kind that are decided by a point here and a point there.

The serve and the power have always been present, but it's the knack for winning those points that has elevated Rybakina's performances.

And the scary thing is that, according to Rybakina after her semifinal win, it's coming even more naturally.

Everything you need to know about the Australian Open final

"I would say it was a bit easier also compared to Wimbledon when I was playing for the first time quarters, semis, final," she said after beating Azarenka.

Australian Open: Rybakina holds off Azarenka to reach second Slam final

2023 Australian Open

Another coolly delivered big statement that signifies real intention. -- Alex Macpherson

Advantage, Sabalenka

Alex, here’s all you need to know about Sabalenka’s state of mind: After dispatching Magda Linette in straight sets Thursday, she lost track of time in her on-court interview. She said she was looking forward to playing Rybakina “tomorrow” when, in fact, the final was not Friday but Saturday.

Even when she was corrected, Sabalenka said, “I want to play tomorrow.”

As well she might.

Coaches Corner: Serve, first strike will be key in Australian Open final

No one, Rybakina included, has begun the season in such a blaze. Sabalenka has won all 10 of the matches she’s played -- and all 20 sets. She’s only the third player this century to start the season 20-for-20, following Anna Smashnova (2002) and Agnieszka Radwanska (2013).

The first-set tiebreak against Linette underlined the strides she’s taken in mastering the emotional component of her game. In a massive moment, she won seven of eight points. Sabalenka, who sometimes seemed overwhelmed in those tight spots, has won nine of her past 10 tiebreaks.

Here’s another window into her burgeoning maturity: Asked how she would approach the final, both emotionally and tactically, Sabalenka said, “To be honest, I think I’m not going to do something extra. Like, I think that’s OK to feel little bit nervous. It’s a big tournament, big final.

“If you’re going to start trying to do something about that, it’s going to become bigger, you know? I’ll just leave it like that.”

And then there’s this: A decisive 3-0 edge in the head-to-head with Rybakina. All three ended with a decisive third set from Sabalenka.

In the 2019 Wuhan quarterfinals, the score line was a manic 6-1, 1-6, 6-1. Two years later, in an Abu Dhabi quarter, it was 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Later that year in the fourth round at Wimbledon Sabalenka won 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

And don’t underestimate the power of changing the narrative of losing her first three major semifinals, all of them in three sets. Sabalenka comes into this final with enormous confidence -- but perhaps subliminally insecure in the knowledge that her semifinal “breakthrough” wasn’t the final step.

“It’s not going to make things easier,” Sabalenka said. “It’s a final. It’s not going to be easy match, you know? But I just happy that I made this next step. I know that I have to work for that title.” -- Greg Garber