Tennis-Sabalenka searching for revenge in Madrid showdown with Swiatek


MADRID (Reuters) – Aryna Sabalenka stated she was relishing the problem of enjoying Iga Swiatek in Saturday’s Madrid Open closing, with revenge on her thoughts having misplaced to the world primary within the Stuttgart title conflict final month.

Swiatek cruised previous Belarusian Sabalenka 6-3 6-4 to win the Stuttgart crown in a repeat of final yr’s closing to substantiate her standing as favorite for the French Open later this month.

World quantity two Sabalenka stated she was ready for one more robust battle within the pair’s newest conflict, as she bids to enhance her 2-5 win-loss document in opposition to Swiatek.

“I actually wish to have this revenge. I feel I’d simply play with extra ardour. I would not rush issues. I’d simply go yet one more time, attempt higher and combat for this title,” Sabalenka stated after beating Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-1 within the semi-final.

“It is actually good that we’re enjoying so persistently so we’re assembly one another within the finals. Hopefully it may be the identical. Nevertheless it’s all the time robust. It’s important to combat actually laborious in opposition to Iga and I am prepared for that.”

Sabalenka, whose wins over Swiatek have come within the season-ending WTA Finals in 2021 and 2022, stated bettering her serve within the final yr had given her the boldness that she will be able to defeat the Polish participant.

“Earlier than, like our first matches final season after I did not really feel my finest, it was actually robust as a result of I did not have so many weapons. I had my character and that is it,” Sabalenka stated.

“Later within the season, after I mounted my serve, I understood that truly I can play effectively in opposition to her, I can beat her. Proper now it is a completely different mentality.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Enhancing by Michael Perry)