Aryna Sabalenka jolts Iga Swiatek, captures Madrid Open title

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka captured her second Mutua Madrid Open title in three years with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over top-seeded Iga Swiatek on Saturday.

Sabalenka recorded five aces and overcame three double faults to win the match in 2 hours and 25 minutes. The Belarus native has won 13 career WTA singles titles and a tour-leading three this season.

The win allowed Sabalenka to avenge her 6-3, 6-4 defeat to the Poland native in the title match of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, on April 23.

“I am just super happy with this win, especially against Iga on clay,” Sabalenka said of Swiatek, who entered the match with a 27-1 record on clay since the start of last season.

The win was Sabalenka’s third in eight career meetings versus Swiatek, a three-time Grand Slam winner.

“It is always tough against each other and you always push me to my limits,” Sabalenka told Swiatek following their match. “I hope we will play many more times this season.”

Swiatek said that both players “just played on a good level, but (Sabalenka) was better today. Maybe sometimes I could be more proactive, but honestly, I think we both played good. I don’t have any big regrets.”

Sabalenka, who turned 25 on Friday, bolted out to a 3-0 lead in the final set before Swiatek won the next two games. Sabalenka, however, halted Swiatek’s momentum by breaking her serve, and she then capitalized on her fourth match point by unleashing a fiery forehand to seal the win.

Sabalenka also defeated a World No. 1 en route to winning her previous title in Madrid. She knocked off Ashleigh Barty of Australia two years ago.

Swiatek was bidding for her third title of the year.

“Me and Aryna, I feel like we’re just hard workers,” Swiatek said. “I know that she’s super professional as well in terms of fitness and other stuff, and we’re kind of progressing no matter if we’re on top or not, so I think that’s why we are kind of solid.”

–Field Level Media

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