WTA Tour: Rybakina beats Kostyuk, storms to third title of the season in Stuttgart

Stuttgart (Germany), April 21 (IANS): World No.4 Elena Rybakina claimed her third WTA Tour title of the year, defeating No.27 Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the Tennis Grand Prix event in Stuttgart on Sunday. The victory over Kostyuk was her tour-leading 26th win of the season.

The triumph at Stuttgart is Rybakina's eighth career title and third on clay, following wins at 2023 Rome and 2019 Bucharest. The 24-year-old leaves Germany with the outright lead in titles this season, adding Stuttgart to a collection that includes Brisbane and Abu Dhabi.

Rybakina came into Sunday's final after ending World No.1 Iga Swiatek's 10-match win streak at Stuttgart, winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the semifinals.

Playing in her fifth final of the season, Rybakina opened the match by breaking Kostyuk's serve and never looked back. With efficient serve, Rybakina, the tour leader in aces served, sealed the first set after just 30 minutes. She lost just one point on her first serve (15 of 16) and did not face a break point. Rybakina won 30 points to Kostyuk's 17.

A confident Rybakina turned out to be a bridge too far for Kostyuk, who engineered a groundbreaking week in Stuttgart to make her second final of the year. Amid the best season of her career, Kostyuk will rise to a new career-high ranking of No.21 on Monday.

Coming into the final with a 1-1 record against Rybakina, Kostyuk could find no inroads against the World No.4. Kostyuk made just six unforced errors in the first set, but Rybakina's baseline aggression extracted 16 forced errors.

Rybakina continued her momentum in the second set to close out the win after 1 hour and 9 minutes. She finished the match unbroken, saving all three break points she faced.



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Title: WTA Tour: Rybakina beats Kostyuk, storms to third title of the season in Stuttgart

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