Swiatek defeats Sabalenka in Stuttgart to win fourth straight title

Swiatek defeats Sabalenka in Stuttgart to win fourth straight title

World No.1 Iga Swiatek just keeps on winning. The Polish star claimed her fourth consecutive title and her 23rd straight match-win with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over No.3 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix final on Sunday.

Swiatek made her Stuttgart tournament debut a triumphant one by completing her week with a commanding 84-minute victory over fourth-ranked Sabalenka. Swiatek collected her seventh career Hologic WTA Tour singles title with the triumph.

Iga yet to be stopped: Swiatek’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.

Liudmila Samsonova pushed Swiatek to the limit in Saturday’s semifinals, snapping the top seed’s run of 28 straight sets won in the process. But Swiatek pulled through that match in three hours to set up a meeting against Sabalenka, where the No.1 once again swept through a final.

Aside from losing her first final to Polona Hercog as a 17-year-old in 2019, Swiatek has been utterly dominant in finals. Swiatek 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 Akron WTA Finals, Swiatek has won their following two clashes in straight sets.

Stuttgart: Swiatek captures title with 23rd straight match-win

2022 Stuttgart

Tale of the final: Swiatek had to save a break point in the opening game with a rally crosscourt 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 Swiatek.

2021 Stuttgart runner-up Sabalenka toughed out a serve hold from break point 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.

All told, Swiatek’s 17 winners outpaced Sabalenka’s 13, and the top seed won 77 percent of her first-service points as she was never broken on the day.

More to come…

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