World No. 1 Iga Swiatek started the tournament in Germany with concerns being raised about her condition, but the Pole concluded the Stuttgart Open campaign holding the trophy aloft after a dominant straight-sets victory over second seed Aryna Sabalenka. In a repeat of last year’s final, Swiatek once again proved too strong for her Belarusian opponent, running out a 6-3 6-4 victor.
World No. 1 Iga Swiatek underlined her class by beating Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets to retain her Stuttgart Open title.
In a repeat of last year’s final, Swiatek once again proved too strong for her Belarusian opponent as she claimed her second title of the season with a 6-3 6-4 victory.
The Pole shrugged off any fitness concerns, proving once again she is a class above her rivals with a dominant and composed performance.
“I’m so excited you could see after the match point. It’s hard to even get my thoughts together,” Swiatek said.
“I want to thank my team because you know guys it has been such an intense time for the last couple of weeks, tough decisions sometimes but I’m so happy that we’re making the right decisions basically because of you.”
Addressing her opponent, Swiatek said: “Congrats Aryna for everything, you’ve had such an amazing season. I feel like the work you’ve been putting in has paid off, so huge congrats for that.
“I’m really happy that we are so consistent and we can play so many amazing matches together because I think the fans are enjoying it.”
Swiatek notched a relatively straightforward service hold to start proceedings before Sabalenka managed to remain unscathed in a sticky opening service game despite some tremendous returns from Swiatek.
BACK-TO-BACK IN STUTTGART 🚗🏆🚙
— wta (@WTA) April 23, 2023
It was a slightly troublesome hold for Swiatek as the Pole moved 2-1 in front with Sabalenka finding her range with some bruising strikes. A terrifically executed backhand cross-court from Sabalenka threatened the first break of serve, but Swiatek dug deep to move 3-2 ahead.
Sabalenka saved three break points but Swiatek was relentless in her pursuit of the advantage and the Belarusian was finally broken, now trailing 5-3. Having clicked into a higher gear, Swiatek was a deserved winner of the opening set in 51 minutes as she consolidated efficiently by holding her serve.
With her confidence dented, Sabalenka imploded in the opening game of the second set as her service was broken again, her pain compounded by a double fault to allow Swiatek to take her first break point.
Swiatek then fired two sublime winners to diminish Sabalenka’s hopes of conjuring up a break point in the second game.
The following game was a must-win for Sabalenka if she was to have any chance of overcoming the world No. 1 and she had to show nerves of steel to save a break point, eventually holding service with a series of powerful strikes. Her momentum carried through to the next game as Swiatek survived a scare by saving her first break point against, restoring her two-game advantage at 3-1.
— wta (@WTA) April 23, 2023
Sabalenka had already hit more winners in the second set than the first altogether but she was also making too many unforced errors. Still, she continued to hang onto Swiatek’s coat-tails with back-to-back winners making it 4-3.
Landing her first ace of the match helped Swiatek move to within touching distance of victory at 5-3, and although Sabalenka delayed the inevitable by holding serve, she was powerless to prevent the Pole from seeing the job through, converting the first of three championship points.