Home Sports Rublev beats Djokovic to claim Serbia Open crown; Swiatek win Stuttgart title

Rublev beats Djokovic to claim Serbia Open crown; Swiatek win Stuttgart title

by thesquadron.in
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World number one Novak Djokovic’s barren title spell in 2022 continued as he went down 6-2 6-7(4) 6-0 to Russian Andrey Rublev in the Serbia Open final in Belgrade on Sunday.

Playing his second tournament on clay this season after being knocked out by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Monte Carlo earlier this month, Djokovic was off to a slow start as second seed Rublev broke him twice to clinch the opening set 6-2.

Djokovic had prevailed from a set down in his last three matches and the 20-times major winner, cheered on by a capacity home crowd, raised his game in the second set to take the tie-breaker despite earlier squandering five set points on the Rublev serve.

The Serbian missed a chunk of the early season, including the Australian Open as well as ATP Masters 1000 events in Miami and Indian Wells, due to his refusal to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – and his lack of match practice showed in the deciding set on Sunday.

Rublev galloped to an early lead and barely gave his opponent a chance as he closed out the match with a powerful forehand winner for his 11th career title.

Swiatek overpowers Sabalenka to win Stuttgart title

World number one Iga Swiatek captured her fourth straight title of the 2022 season by beating Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-2 in the Stuttgart Open final on Sunday, extending her winning streak to 23 matches.

Swiatek, a former French Open champion, had breezed through the opening rounds of the WTA 500 claycourt tournament before facing her biggest test in the semi-finals, where she battled back from a set down to overcome Ludmilla Samsonova on Saturday.

The Polish 20-year-old showed little signs of fatigue from that marathon clash as she saved an early breakpoint and raced ahead 3-0 before holding firm and taking the opening set when third-seeded Sabalenka, last year’s runner-up, double-faulted.

The pair had split their previous contests – in last year’s WTA Finals and the Qatar Open in February – but it was the in-form Swiatek who excelled in their first claycourt meeting, dealing effortlessly with her opponent’s big hitting.

The error-prone Sabalenka looked to mount a comeback after a crucial hold of serve at the start of the second set but Swiatek switched gears to break for a 4-2 lead and completed the victory when the Belarusian sent a shot long.

“It’s always super tough playing against Aryna. We fought for every game and hopefully there are more matches to come,” Swiatek, who was given the keys to a red Porsche Taycan car following her seventh career title, said.

“The last couple of days have been tough… I want to thank my dad who finally decided he will come with me for tournaments. The atmosphere in this arena was amazing tdoay.”

Tournament debutant Swiatek’s success in Stuttgart follows her triumphs in Doha, Indian Wells and Miami, and makes her a firm favourite for Roland Garros starting on May 22.

 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.



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