June 21, 2024
ARYNA SABALENKA CLINCHES

The Stuttgart Open starts this week and sees the top two in the world, Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka, headline the draw. The pair have contested the final for the last two seasons and both times Swiatek has come out on top. Sabalenka has told Eurosport she is hoping to go one better this time around, while Swiatek has spoken about how she transitions from hard courts to clay.

Aryna Sabalenka is determined to finally get her hands on the Stuttgart Open trophy after losing in the final for the last three years.
Sabalenka was edged out by world No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the 2023 and 2022 finals, having lost to former world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in the 2021 final.

With Aryna Sabalenka and Swiatek the top two seeds again, a third straight final between the pair could be on the cards.
“I keep coming back here with the hope that this year I can finally get it,” Sabalenka told Eurosport.
“I love it here, love the tournament, the courts, the atmosphere.”
Australian Open champion Sabalenka will start her Stuttgart title bid against good friend Paula Badosa on Wednesday.
It will be the second tournament in a row that Sabalenka has faced Badosa after also beating her at the Miami Open last month.
Although clay has historically not been Sabalenka’s strongest surface, last year she won Madrid and was a point away from making the French Open final.
“I love to play on clay,” she says about the surface.
“It’s always not enough for me, every time when the clay season finishes I think I just start feeling it, I need a couple more tournaments! I love the game on clay.”

While Sabalenka has emerged as a force on clay, Swiatek has been the one to beat on the surface over the last few seasons.

She will be aiming to become the first player to record three straight Stuttgart wins since Maria Sharapova a decade ago.
“I always feel comfortable during this change of surface from hard court to clay,” Swiatek, who has won the French Open for the last two seasons, told Eurosport.

“The way the ball bounces. I can play a bit differently and have different tactics. I can use more of my intuition because I was raised on clay and it’s a bit easier for me.”
Swiatek will face Elise Mertens in her opening match on Thursday.
Emma Raducanu will open against home favourite Angelique Kerber.

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