Stuttgart Open: Swiatek beats Samsonova, to face Sabalenka in final
World number one Iga Swiatek beat Liudmilla Samsonova of Russia to book her place in the final of the 2022 Stuttgart Open. The number one seed fought back after trailing the first set to beat Samsonova 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5. It was Swiatek's 22nd consecutive win in 2022. Meanwhile, number three seed Aryna Sabalenka edged past Paula Badosa 7-6(5), 6-4. She will face Swiatek next.
- Swiatek has enjoyed a scintillating run so far.
- She has faced Sabalenka twice in her career, with a win over the latter in the Qatar Open in quarters.
- However, the 2021 Stuttgart Open runner-up, Sabalenka, had beaten the Polish player in the Akron WTA final.
- Sabalenka would look to extend her 4-1 record on clay this season and grab her maiden Stuttgart Open title.
The match lasted a total of three hours and three minutes. World number 31, Samsonova, managed to snap Swiatek's 28-set winning streak courtesy of a win in the tie-breaker in the first set. Swiatek pocketed 129 points to Samsonova's 119. Also, the 20-year-old garnered 59 receiving points to Samsonova's 40. Swiatek now holds a 1-0 lead over Samsonova in the head-to-head meetings.
"I have no idea how I came back. Honestly, I didn't want to give up. I wanted to try and find solutions. I think Liudmila played Top 8 tennis. We both were fighting until the lost ball. I was pretty fortunate that I was able to break her at 5-5," said Swiatek post the grueling win over Samsonova.
To date, Swiatek has attained six career titles including a Grand Slam (2020 French Open). She reached the semis of the 2022 Australian Open. In 2021, Swiatek won the Italian Open and Adelaide International. In addition to that, she has won Indian Wells, Qatar Open, and Miami Masters, all in 2022.
Sabalenka topped world number three Paula Badosa to clinch her second consecutive spot in the Stuttgart Open final. The match lasted an hour and 40 minutes. Sabalenka garnered 43% of points on her first serve to Badosa's 45. However, she hoarded 77 points and won 13 games to seal the triumph. Notably, Sabalenka now enjoys a 7-1 record in wins at the Stuttgart Open.
The former world number two exited in the quarters of the Qatar Open. She was ousted in the fourth and third rounds of the Australian Open and Charleston Open, respectively. She failed to get past the second round of the Adelaide International 1, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Indian Wells, and Miami Open. Sh exited in the first round of the Adelaide International 2.
The Belarusian professional tennis player has won 10 events to date. She won the Mumbai Open (2017) followed by Wuhan Open, and Connecticut Open in 2018. In 2019, Sabalenka clinched the Shenzhen Open, Wuhan Open, and Zhuhai Open. In 2020, she snatched the Doha Open, Upper Austria Ladies Linz, and Ostrava Open. Last year, Sabalenka won the Abu Dhabi Open and Madrid Open.