Iga Swiatek sinks Elena Rybakina for third straight Qatar title

World number one Iga Swiatek wins her third Qatar Open title with a 7-6[8] 6-2 victory over Elena Rybakina in Saturday’s final.

World number one Iga Swiatek made Qatar Open history by beating Elena Rybakina in Saturday’s final for her third-straight triumph at the event.

The 2022 and 2023 champion was pushed to the limit in a tight first set with Rybakina, but she was an irrepressible force in the second as she prevailed 7-6[8] 6-2 in two hours and 19 minutes.

As well as becoming a seven-time WTA 1000 champion, Swiatek is now the first player to win three titles at the Qatar Open, and the first women’s player to triumph at the same hard-court tournament three years running since Serena Williams won three successive Miami Open crowns from 2013 to 2015.

The world number one was the fresher of the two players, having received a walkover win over Karolina Pliskova in the semi-finals due to the Czech’s back injury, although she was stunned early doors as Rybakina raced into a 4-1 lead with a double break.

However, the Pole responded with a terrific four-game winning sequence, and despite losing serve in the 11th game as well, she broke back against Rybakina with the Kazakhstani serving for the set and came up trumps in a pulsating tie-breaker.

Rybakina’s first-set collapses would come back to bite her against an on-song Swiatek, as she was broken in the third and seventh games of the second set, where 77% of Swiatek’s first serves found the mark en route to victory.

The Pole squandered her first of three match points before putting away her second to win her maiden title of 2024, and each of her last five finals on the WTA Tour has now ended in success.

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