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MADRID: Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka beat Iga Swiatek 6-3 3-6 6-3 to win the Madrid Open on Saturday (May 6), avenging her defeat by the Polish world number one in last month’s Stuttgart final.
Sabalenka produced a great performance to beat Swiatek for the first time on clay, proving that she will be a serious title contender when the French Open begins later this month.
The 25-year-old Sabalenka made things rather uncomfortable for Swiatek from the outset with her aggressive tactics, breaking the two-time Roland Garros champion’s serve in the eighth game en route to bagging the first set.
Swiatek fought back in the second as she raced into a 3-0 lead before levelling the contest at one set all.
However, Australian Open champion Sabalenka dug in to show that she was no pushover as she opened up a 3-0 lead in the decider.
Swiatek kept everyone on the edge of their seats as she made it 3-3 in a thrilling third set.
Sabalenka then went on to break Swiatek’s serve with a brilliant crosscourt forehand before wrapping up the win on her fourth match point.