Iga Swiatek defeats Sabalenka to clinch Stuttgart Open title

Stuttgart (Germany), April 24 (IANS) World No. 1 Iga Swiatek defeated No. 3 seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-2 in the final to clinch the Stuttgart Open title and extend her winning streak to 23 matches, here on Sunday.
 
Iga Swiatek defeats Sabalenka to clinch Stuttgart Open title

Stuttgart (Germany), April 24 (IANS) World No. 1 Iga Swiatek defeated No. 3 seed Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-2 in the final to clinch the Stuttgart Open title and extend her winning streak to 23 matches, here on Sunday.

With this victory, the 20-year-old Polish star claimed her fourth consecutive title and seventh career WTA Tour singles title.

Swi'tek's winning streak began with a title run at WTA 1000 Doha, and she remained undefeated at WTA 1000 events this year by sweeping through the Sunshine Double of Indian Wells and Miami. Two additional wins for her Polish squad at Billie Jean King Cup qualifying gave Swiatek a 19-match winning streak coming into the indoor clay of Stuttgart.

In the final, Swiatek had to save a breakpoint in the opening game with a rally cross-court backhand, but she methodically moved through the set from there, surviving a patch of brilliant Sabalenka backhands as the Pole picked off big points in a handful of tight games. An untimely double fault by Sabalenka on set point ceded the opener to the World No. 1.

The 2021 Stuttgart runner-up Sabalenka toughed out a service hold from breakpoint down at 1-1 in the second set, deploying multiple forehand winners down the line. But Swiatek found perfect placement on her shots down the stretch, grabbing the last four games to finish off the final and grasp her latest trophy.

Aside from losing her first final to Polona Hercog as a 17-year-old in 2019, Swiatek has been utterly dominant in the finals. She has won seven finals in a row since then without dropping a set and indeed has lost no more than five games in each of those championship matches.

Swiatek is now the first player to hit 30 match wins this season, as she improved her 2022 win-loss record to an astounding 30-3. After dropping her first meeting with Sabalenka at last year's WTA Finals, Swiatek has won their following two clashes in straight sets.

--IANS

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