Swiatek saves 3 match points to beat Sabalenka in Madrid final


In a thrilling rematch of last year’s final, Iga Swiatek saved three championship points before triumphing over Aryna Sabalenka 7-5 4-6 7-6(7), avenging her loss in the 2023 Mutua Madrid Open final.

Iga Swiatek fistpumps at the 2024 Mutua Madrid Open

The first showdown of the season between the world’s top two players kept the Spanish crowd captivated for 3 hours and 11 minutes, highlighting exceptional power, amazing defense, and impressive shot-making.

The clash between the top two seeds began with an exchange of breaks. They then held serve for the following eight games until Sabalenka stumbled. At 5-5, it was Swiatek who rose her level when it mattered most, forcing on a couple of errors from Sabalenka to take a crucial 6-5 lead. The Pole then displayed nerves of steel on her own serve to close out the set.

Sabalenka quickly bounced back from losing the first set by breaking Swiatek early in the second set, taking a 2-0 lead. This initiated a series of four consecutive breaks, ended when Swiatek held serve to level at 3-3. Sabalenka made a concerted effort to prevent Swiatek from finding her rhythm, and her persistence paid off. Swiatek, serving to stay in the second set, succumbed to pressure, allowing Sabalenka to level the match at one set each with a well-placed forehand down the line.

Sabalenka took control early in the final set, breaking to lead 3-1 and increasing the pressure on Swiatek. However, the top seed managed to get the set back on serve. In the 13th game of the decider, Swiatek dug deep to save two match points and then saved another one in a tense tiebreak before defeating the two-time Madrid Open champion.

En route to the challenging and closely contested final, aside from dropping a set against the 11th seed, Beatriz Haddad Maia, in the quarterfinals, Swiatek delivered dominant performances against Wang Xiyu, Sorana Cirstea, Sara Sorribes Tormo, and 18th seed Madison Keys. Securing victory over Sabalenka marked Swiatek’s third WTA 1000 title of the 2024 season and the 20th in her career.


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