(Stuttgart) The world N.1 Iga Swiatek qualified for the final of the Stuttgart tournament which launches the season on clay in Europe, after the abandonment of the Tunisian Ons Jabeur (4th in the world), touched in the left calf from the first game.
In the final on Sunday, Poland’s Iga Swiatek will face world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka, who corrected Anastasia Potapova (24th) earlier on Saturday 6-1, 6-2. This will be the revenge of last year’s final won by Swiatek.
“She’s gained a lot of confidence this season, this is her third final here. It won’t be easy, I hope it will be a good match for you spectators,” Swiatek commented after the short encounter.
In the semi-final, Ons Jabeur was injured in the first service game won by Swiatek and asked for a medical break to have her left calf manipulated. The Tunisian returned after a few minutes of care, with a big bandage and grimacing.
She lost the next two games, limped back to her chair and was forced, after a few words exchanged with the tournament doctor, to give up with tears in her eyes after just 18 minutes.
” I’m sorry. I was looking forward to playing against Iga today. I’m so sorry,” Jabeur said after the game.
After shaking hands, Swiatek came to check on Jabeur, who left the court to applause.
“I told him that maybe we will meet in the final of Roland-Garros,” explained the Pole.
Earlier, Aryna Sabalenka defeated Anastasia Potapova in less than an hour of play to advance to the final.
The winner of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament at the end of January, will try to win the 13th WTA tournament of her career, she who remains on two defeats in the final on clay in Stuttgart, beaten each time by the N.1 world of the moment, the Australian Ashleigh Barty in 2021 and Swiatek in 2022.
Faced with Potapova (N.24 in the world), who hung in Stuttgart the scalps of the American Coco Gauff (N.6), in the round of 16, and the French Caroline Garcia (N.5) in the quarters, Sabalenka n did not have to force his talent.
“It was a big game, with a good level. I had never played against her,” she commented with a smile after the encounter.