For the third year in a row Aryna Sabalenka comes one match short of winning the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix title. This time, just like last year, her conqueror in the final was world No.1 Iga Swiatek.
In a high-level first set of Sunday’s final in Stuttgart, the sheer power, movement, and athleticism from both women were truly impressive. However, the second-ranked Sabalenka suffered a brief lapse of focus in the eighth game, allowing Swiatek to raise her level and claim the only break of the set.
Swiatek started the second set by breaking Sabalenka’s serve. Although Sabalenka had a chance to neutralize her opponent’s advantage with one break point, she failed to convert it. Swiatek held on to her early lead and ultimately secured her victory with a final score of 6-3 6-4.
This was the first time the Top 2 in the world have squared off in a Tour-level final since 2018 Australian Open (Simona Halep d. Caroline Wozniacki) and first clay-court final between the Top 2 in the world since 2013 Roland Garros (Serena Williams d. Maria Sharapova).
This is Swiatek’s 13th singles title, and she has now joined Kiki Bertens as the only WTA players to have beaten Sabalenka five times. Before Sabalenka in the championship match, the Pole, who is now 8-0 in Stuttgart, defeated Zheng Qinwen in the second round, Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals and Ons Jabeur in the semifinals (retirement).
The 2023 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix will stay remembered as the tournament where Swiatek debuted her On clothing sponsorship, after years spent with Asics, whose Gel Resolution 9 shoe model she continues to wear. (photos: Jimmie48)