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Aryna Sabalenka - Indian Wells 2023

Aryna Sabalenka ‘super happy’ to end ‘special’ Swiatek streak in Madrid


Aryna Sabalenka has voiced her emotions after becoming the first woman to beat Iga Swiatek in a clay court final since 2019.

Sabalenka beat the No.1, 6-3 3-6 6-3, to win the second Madrid Open title of her career and became only the second woman to beat Swiatek in a final on the dirt.

It was the second consecutive final that the top two WTA players faced off, and the first WTA 1000 final between the No.1 and the No.2 since Serena Williams beat Li Na in Miami in 2014.

Swiatek had beat Sabalenka in the Stuttgart final a couple of weeks ago, and Sabalenka got the ‘revenge’ she was hoping for with her first victory over the Pole on clay.

“I’m super happy. Especially against Iga on clay, it’s something special,” explained the Belarusian. “Hopefully we’ll keep playing finals this season. I’ll do everything I can to make it happen. It’s great the 1st two seeds reach the final. That’s something amazing”

Sabalenka continued, “I definitely respect her a lot. She’s a great player, and what she did last season and what she keeps doing, it really motivates me a lot to improve, to keep working hard, to keep fighting. I know that it’s always battles against her.”

The WTA 1000 title in the Spanish capital is the third of the season for Sabalenka and the biggest since the Australian Open, which the 25-year-old said she used to inspire her to serve the match out at the end.

“I was thinking of it when I was down in the last game ‘Ok I did it at AO so I’ll probably be able to get this win again.’ Definitely this match reminded me of AO match,” said Sabalenka.

While Swiatek was disappointed to lose her first clay court final since her defeat to Polona Hercog in Lugano, the Pole gave all credit to her opponent in her post-match press conference.

“I don’t think we should talk about that bc she played a really good match. I don’t want to blame my loss to conditions or something else. It doesn’t really matter bc she won, & I just respect that & I don’t want to take it from Aryna,” said Swiatek.

Swiatek is still yet to win the Madrid Open title, but will be the firm favourite when she heads to Rome next week as the title holder from the last two years.

Aryna Sabalenka WTA title haul

The Madrid Open title is the 13th of Sabalenka’s career, so here is a look at the powerful Belarusian’s trophy haul that started back in 2018:

Grand Slam

Australian Open (2023)

WTA 1000

Wuhan (2018 & 2019), Doha (2020), Madrid Open (2021 & 2023)

WTA 500

New Haven (2018), Ostrava (2020), Abu Dhabi (2021), Adelaide 1 (2023)

WTA 250

Shenzhen (2019), Linz (2020)

Other

WTA Elite Trophy (2019)

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