World No. 1 Iga Swiatek Beats Aryna Sabalenka to Win Second Straight Stuttgart Title

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World number one Iga Swiatek defeated Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets to win her second consecutive Stuttgart title on Sunday.

Swiatek eased past her second-ranked Belarusian opponent 6-3, 6-4 on the clay in one hour and 50 minutes.

A first tournament triumph since February will give Swiatek a confidence boost ahead of her French Open title defence in May.

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Sunday’s match was a repeat of last year’s final in Stuttgart, which Swiatek also won in dominant fashion, 6-2, 6-2.

She has now sat atop the WTA rankings for more than a year and is a red-hot favourite for another title at Roland Garros.

The US Open champion broke serve late in the first set, taking advantage of an uncharacteristic miss from Sabalenka.

Swiatek broke again in the opening game of the second, after which notable frustration began to creep into the world number two’s game.

Sabalenka made a number of unforced errors, allowing Swiatek to gain control of the match.

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Swiatek converted her first match point with a smooth backhand to chalk up another impressive victory.

The 21-year-old came into the match fresh after playing just 18 minutes of Saturday’s semi-final before her opponent Ons Jabeur retired hurt.

Sabalenka beat Anastasia Potapova 6-1, 6-2 on Saturday.

Swiatek is the first player to win back-to-back Stuttgart titles since Angelique Kerber in 2015 and 2016.

Swiatek now holds a 5-2 record against Sabalenka and has won eight of her eight matches on the Stuttgart clay.

Sabalenka has lost her past three Stuttgart finals, two of which have been played against Swiatek. The Belarusian lost the 2021 final to Australia’s Ash Barty.

It was the first time a world number one had faced the world number two on clay since the 2013 French Open final, when Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)

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