Iga Swiatek overcomes Sabalenka to win the Stuttgart title

Swiatek, a former French Open champion, had come through the preliminary rounds of the WTA 500 claycourt tournament before facing her biggest test in the semi-finals, where she fought back from a set down to defeat Ludmilla Samsonova on Saturday.
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The Polish 20-year-old showed little sign of fatigue from the marathon showdown as she saved an early breakpoint and drove ahead 3-0 before holding on and taking the opening set as third-seeded Sabalenka, last year’s second-placed, doubled.

The pair had shared their previous competitions – in last year’s WTA finals and Qatar Open in February – but it was the shapely Swiatek who excelled in their first claycourt meeting and handled their opponent’s big blow.

The flawed Sabalenka looked to make a comeback after a crucial team of serve at the start of the second set, but Swiatek switched gears to break to a 4-2 lead and completed the victory as the Belarusian sent a long shot.

“It’s always super hard to play against Aryna. We fought for every game and hopefully there are more games on the way,” said Swiatek, who was given the keys to a red Porsche Taycan after his seventh career title.

“The last few days have been tough … I want to thank my dad who finally decided he would take me to tournaments. The atmosphere in this arena was amazing tdoay.”

Tournament debutant Swiatek’s success in Stuttgart follows her triumphs in Doha, Indian Wells and Miami, making her a firm favorite for Roland Garros from 22 May.

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