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Sabalenka Wins Madrid Title; Anisimova Takes Indefinite Break From Tennis

Sabalenka Wins Madrid Title – Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka took home the Madrid Open title by beating Iga Swiatek in three sets, 6-3 3-6 6-3, on Saturday. Second seed Sabalenka outclassed top-ranked Swiatek to reclaim the Madrid Open crown. The Australian Open winner, who emerged victorious in Madrid in 2021, was aggressive in the match, hitting winners at will and broke the three-time Grand Slam winner four times. The Belarusian captured her third title of the season, which leads the Women’s Tennis Association Tour, and 13th of her career. It was the third win of Sabalenka in eight head-to-head matches with Swiatek, who was frustrated by Sabalenka’s superb hitting during the final. Sabalenka’s victory surprised sports oddsmakers who were expecting Swiatek to demolish the Belarusian and win the Madrid Open.

An Instant Classic on Clay

Sabalenka took the first set thanks to her accurate hitting and Swiatek’s miscues. The Belarusian continued her surge at the start of the second set, until the Polish netter finally found her rhythm and won consecutive games, en route to winning the second set and forcing a decider. The third set could have gone either way though as the two netters went back and forth in the first seven games. However, Sabalenka took control when she broke Swiatek with a running forehand cross-court shot for a 5-3 edge. In the end, Aryna Sabalenka dominated the ninth game and forced Swiatek to fend off three match points before winning the match. It was the first WTA 1000 final between the top two ranked players since Serena Williams beat Li Na at the 2014 Miami Open. It was also only the third time in the last 40 years that the top two women met twice on clay in a single season. The win gives Sabalenka a psychological advantage going into this year’s French Open.

Sabalenka Wins Madrid Title: Alcaraz Meets Struff in Men’s Final

In the men’s side, defending champion Carlos Alcaraz reached the final on his 20th birthday. The Spanish World No2 defeated Borna Coric 6-4, 6-3 and will next face lucky loser Jan-Lennard Struff. Alcaraz, who qualified his fourth Masters 1000 final, broke for a 3-2 lead in a tough first set which he won while serving. In the second set, he again broke for 2-1. However, Coric responded with a break of his own to tie the match at two apiece. He retaliated with a break for a 3-2 edge and never looked back en route to victory. The defending champion next faces the 33-year-old Struff, who made only his second career final by outlasting Aslan Karatsev of Russia in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The win made Struff, who fired 37 winners, including 15 aces, the first “lucky loser” to go all the way to a Masters final. The finalists are 1-1 head-to-head with the German winning their French Open meeting in 2021. Alcaraz retaliated with a five-set win in Wimbledon last year.

Anisimova Takes a Break

World number 21 Amanda Anisimova has expressed plans to take an “indefinite break” from tennis, the Women’s Tennis Association Tour confirmed recently. The American Anisimova cited mental health issues and burnout as the reasons for her sudden decision, saying that taking a break for some time to take care of her mental well-being is her utmost priority. She gave no timetable for her return, which is a dampener for online tennis betting aficionados who already saw her potential in the first few years of her career.