Sabalenka Overpowers Swiatek in Epic Madrid Open Final

Sabalenka Overpowers Swiatek in Epic Madrid Open Final

by Zachary Wimer

Last updated

Aryna Sabalenka defeated Iga Swiatek in the 2023 Madrid Open final to win her first title in the Spanish capital since 2021.

Two highest ranked players on the WTA Tour met once again in the final and their meeting in Madrid was probably even more anticipated than the match in Stuttgart. Sabalenka was coming into it with no sets won against the Pole on clay and Swiatek knew that she's leading the H2H 5-2.

Both enjoyed a successful clay-court season but it was the world no. 1 who was slightly favoured, especially after her victory at the 2023 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. But with wins over solid opponents in the Spanish capital, also Sabalenka proved that she can think about winning the trophy, especially after she managed to win it back in 2021.

For Swiatek, it was the first final in Madrid and she started patiently, as did her opponent. There were no break points until the sixth game when Sabalenka had to chances to break, but this time, the Pole managed to save both.

But she couldn't do the same thing also in the eighth game. Despite saving the first break point, the Belarusian used her second chance and after confirming the break with a hold, she won the first set 6-3.

Yet, Sabalenka knew that she is playing the world no. 1 and response came quickly in the second set. Swiatek won the first three games, but she quickly lost her lead and from 3-0, the scoreboard turned into 3-3, 15-40 with two break points for the world no. 2.

And that was the moment Swiatek started her strong run in the second set, winning 12 of the following 14 points and securing the second set 6-3 to force a decider in already spectacular Madrid Open final.

The third set was very similar to the second one, but this time, it was Sabalenka who led 3-0 and lost the lead as the score was tied at 3-3. But again, a few strong games from the Belarusian sent her into a one-break lead and for the first time in the match, she was serving to win the tournament as fans at the Manolo Santana Stadium witnessed a spectacular battle between a world-class offence and incredible defence.

But Swiatek wouldn't give up easily. Despite precise serves from her opponent, she managed to save the first three championship points. But Sabalenka was simply on another level on Saturday evening and after 2 hours and 25 minutes, she won the match 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to win the 2023 Madrid Open.

She secured her third trophy of the season and first since her first Grand Slam triumph in Melbourne. Moreover, she increased her lead in the 2023 WTA Race even further, now leading by around 1600 points ahead of second Elena Rybakina and by almost 2000 points ahead of her final opponent.


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