Aryna Sabalenka toppled world number one Iga Swiatek 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 on Sunday to set up a title clash with Caroline Garcia at the season-ending WTA Finals. Seventh-ranked Sabalenka avenged a three-set defeat to Poland’s Swiatek in the semi-finals at the US Open, where Swiatek went on to capture her second Grand Slam title of the year after her victory at Roland Garros.
Sixth-ranked Garcia of France had powered past Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-2 in the other semi-final.
Sabalenka, who called it a “miracle” that she qualified for the event after her mid-season struggles, fired 23 winners, including a dozen aces, with just 19 unforced errors.
Swiatek, whose remarkable season included eight singles titles, saw her 15-match winning streak against the top 10 players end.
She had 26 winners and 26 unforced errors as her usually fearsome forehand was uncharacteristically unreliable.
Swiatek had been broken just once as she won all three of her round-robin matches, but was broken three times in the opening set Sunday as Sabalenka took charge.
Swiatek seemed to have re-set, however, racing to a 4-0 lead in the second before Sabalenka managed to fend off a break point to hold for 4-1. Although Sabalenka broke to cut the deficit to 4-2, Swiatek regained the break and swiftly served it out to knot the match at one set apiece.
Read more: https://sports.ndtv.com/tennis/aryna-sabalenka-stuns-iga-swiatek-to-reach-wta-finals-title-match-3496656