Sabalenka beats Swiatek to reclaim Madrid title

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MADRID — Second-ranked Aryna Sabalenka beat top-ranked Iga Swiatek 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to reclaim the Madrid Open title on Saturday.

Sabalenka lost to Swiatek in the Stuttgart final two weeks ago and had never previously taken a set against her Polish rival in three clay-court meetings.

But the Belarusian held nothing back by aggressively hitting for winners and breaking Swiatek four times.

The Australian Open champion claimed her third title of the season and 13th of her career, including her second in Madrid after triumphing here in 2021.

The match was the first between the top two ranked players in a WTA 1000 tournament final since No. 1 Serena Williams beat No. 2 Li Na at the 2014 Miami Open. It was also only the third time in the last 40 years that the top two women met twice on clay in a single season.

On Sunday, defending champion Carlos Alcaraz plays Jan-Lennard Struff in the men’s final.

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