Madrid (Spain), May 7 World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka clinched the Madrid Open title with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over World No.1 Iga Swiatek in the final on Saturday night.
Sabalenka, the 2021 Madrid champion, took 2 hours and 26 minutes to topple top-seeded Swiatek and win the tournament for the second time in the last three years. The achievement marks Sabalenka’s 13th career WTA Tour singles title.
“It’s always tough battles against Iga. She always pushes me to the limits. I really enjoy our battles. Hopefully we can play many more finals this season,” Sabalenka said after her win.
Both of Sabalenka’s Madrid titles have come at the expense of the reigning World No.1 in the final. Two years ago, Sabalenka beat then-World No.1 Ashleigh Barty to collect the crown.
Sabalenka converted her fourth break point of the day to take a critical 5-3 lead in the first set. An ace gave Sabalenka her first set point in that game, which she converted with an error-forcing backhand.
In the second set, Swiatek saw her 3-0 lead slide all the way back to 3-3, but the top seed slammed a return winner to reclaim her break advantage at 5-3. Swiatek served out the set to tie up the match, after halving her unforced errors from eight in the first set to four in the second.
A gripping third set saw Sabalenka lead 3-0, only to drop her serve at love with a double fault and let Swiatek pull back on serve at 3-2. But the Sabalenka power game held sway down the stretch, as she cracked a forehand winner crosscourt to break for 5-3.
Sabalenka needed four championship points to break through Swiatek’s defense, at last closing out the win with one final fiery forehand. Sabalenka’s 32 winners nearly doubled Swiatek’s 17, as second-ranked Sabalenka increased her lead at No.1 in the Race to the WTA Finals.
(This article is from a syndicated feed and has not been edited by The SportsGrail)