STUTTGART, April 20 ― World number one Iga Swiatek’s bid to win a third successive Stuttgart Open title came to an end in an enthralling 6-3 4-6 6-3 semi-final loss to Elena Rybakina today.

Fourth seed Rybakina ended Swiatek’s perfect record in Stuttgart by handing the Pole her first defeat in 11 matches at the tournament.

“It was, like always a very tough match and I was fighting for every ball, it was such a close match,” Rybakina said.

“I’m really happy that I managed to win and I showed a good game.”


Swiatek began brightly, breaking serve in the opening game and held to take a 2-0 lead, but 2022 Wimbledon champion Rybakina then won five games in a row, breaking twice, and saw out the first set as she hit four aces along the way.

The second set went with serve for the first nine games, with Swiatek saving two break points in the opener and Rybakina hitting a further four aces before Swiatek made the decisive break to take the set and force the decider.

Rybakina threatened early in the third set, with Swiatek saving five break points to hold for a 2-1 lead but Rybakina made the breakthrough to make it 3-2 and hit another ace to save a break point and hold in the next game.


At 4-2 down, Swiatek rallied to serve to love and had a break point to level the set, but Rybakina held on and went on to break again to reach the final where she will meet either Marta Kostyuk or Marketa Vondrousova.

“It was kind of a battle who starts the rally, who starts to dominate, but it’s always tough to break against Iga, we push each other and I’m really happy that today I managed to win,” Rybakina said. ― Reuters