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Swiatek downs Sabalenka to successfully defend Stuttgart title, cement world No 1 spot

Iga Swiatek lifted the trophy on Sunday afternoon against Aryna Sabalenka.

SWIATEK_STUTTGART_2023 (2) AI/Reuters/Panoramic
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix •Final • completed
See draw

Iga Swiatek cemented her status as the world No 1 after she beat Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 6-4 to win the Porsche Grand Prix trophy at the Porsche-Arena in Stuttgart on Sunday.

The Pole saved the only break point she faced and served out to love to clinch her second title of 2023 and 13th in all, extending her lead over world No 2 Sabalenka in the rankings.

Swiatek never in danger on favourite surface

Swiatek, who will defend her Roland-Garros title next month, was in control from the start as she became the first woman to defend the title in Stuttgart since Angelique Kerber in 2016.

Sabalenka, who was appearing in her third straight final and who won her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, kept her head and stayed in touch but Swiatek was too strong, closing out with ease for victory.

It was the first time the world’s top two have met in a top-level final since Australian Open in 2018 and the first clash between No 1 and No 2 in a clay-court final since Roland-Garros 2013.

Swiatek, ranked No 1, beat Chinese Qinwen Zheng (6-1, 6-4), Czech Karolina Pliskova (4-6, 6-1, 6-2) and Tunisian Ons Jabeur, the No 3 seed (3-0 ret.) in the previous rounds.

Earlier in the tournament, Sabalenka, ranked No 2, defeated Czech Barbora Krejcikova (6-2, 6-3), Spanish wildcard Paula Badosa (4-6, 6-4, 6-4) and Russian Anastasia Potapova (6-1, 6-2).

Swiatek wins a Porsche from the sponsors for the second year in a row, leaving Sabalenka to joke that she should get one just for making the final.

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