Iga Swiatek hails 'consistent' Aryna Sabalenka after Stuttgart final showdown

Swiatek (left) beat Sabalenka in the Stuttgart final.
Swiatek (left) beat Sabalenka in the Stuttgart final.

Iga Swiatek lauded Aryna Sabalenka for the pair's burgeoning rivalry after beating her in the Stuttgart final on Sunday. The match between Swiatek and Sabalenka was the first claycourt final in a decade that featured the top two players in the WTA rankings.

Swiatek and Sabalenka served up a contest befitting the occasion. In a rematch of their title clash a year ago, just one break of serve - in the eighth game - was enough for Swiatek to grab the opening set.

Another break at the start of the second set was all it took for the World No. 1 to lift her 13th career trophy. This marks the third time that Swiatek has successfully defended a title.

In her on-court interview following the near two-hour clash, Swiatek lauded the 'consistent' Sabalenka and also talked about their rivalry.

"I'm really happy that we are so consistent and we can play so many amazing matches together because I think the fans are enjoying it, and it was such a high intensity," Swiatek said. "I want to thank my team because, it's been such an intense time, last couple of weeks and tough decisions sometimes, but I'm so happy that we're making the right decisions because of you."

The Pole jokingly added that her dad would choose the new Porsche car awarded to the winner every year.

"And well, sorry and thank you to my family as well. My dad, he's gonna choose the car probably," she said.

Iga Swiatek is now 5-2 against Aryna Sabalenka, who remains the No. 1 player in the race for the WTA Finals.

"I'll be coming back every year because I love this tournament" - Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek defended her Stuttgart title.
Iga Swiatek defended her Stuttgart title.

Iga Swiatek had an underwhelming start to the year by her standards. But she has come into her own on clay, extending her perfect record in Stuttgart to 8-0.

Following her second straight success at the indoor claycourt event, the 21-year-old said that she loves the tournament because of the atmosphere:

"Thank you to thank you for the tournament for, obviously, congrats for your anniversary," she said. "It's a pretty exciting time. And, yeah, you know, I'll be coming back probably every year because I love this tournament, the atmosphere here guys because of you."
"I hope you're gonna (cheer) me in tournaments and just support and, last but not least, thank you to my sponsors," she added. "I have a really wonderful time working and, you keep my motivation up. So thank you again."

Iga Swiatek is now 20-4 on the season and 13-3 in career WTA finals.