Moscow-born Rybakina, 23, rose to seventh place in the rankings, her highest finish to date and only looking ahead.
"The biggest goal is to become world number one. It's a long way to go but it's a long-term goal," Rybakina said, according to Reuters.
In the semis, Rybakina beat the superior world number one Iga Swiontek, who is reported to have rib problems, For the first time in six years (Garbine Muguruza in Cincinnati), a player on the WTA Tour has beaten the world number one and runner-up in the same tournament.
Rybakina is underranked because she did not receive any points for the Wimbledon title, as the WTA deleted these because the organizer ported Russian and Belarusian players.
After four losses, Rybakina beat world number two Sabalenka for the first time.
"Going to make sure this was the last time"
"It was the first time that it went my way against her and hopefully we will play many more finals," rybakina says, interrupted by the smiling Belarusian Sabalenka:
- I'm going to make sure this was the last time.
Sabalenka enlisted the help of a serve coach who used biomechanics and turned her weak serve into a sharp weapon. Now there were ten double faults in the first set alone, where she had three set balls but at the same time saved five.
"I slipped back into old sins and now I have to work through it. I will never serve perfectly in all matches and this was a lesson," said Sabalenka who had difficulty adjusting the serve in the wind.