Swiatek and Sabalenka to meet again in Stuttgart Open final after Jabeur retires

The world No 1 Iga Swiatek moved into the Stuttgart Open final on Saturday after her opponent Ons Jabeur retired injured three games into the first set. The Pole will face Aryna Sabalenka in a repeat of last year’s final after the Belarusian’s comfortable straight-sets victory over Anastasia Potapova.

Jabeur was on a seven-match winning run after recovering from surgery earlier this year but appeared to hurt herself during the last point of the first game. Fresh from her title win in Charleston earlier in the month, the world No 4 took a medical timeout but after playing on with her left calf bandaged for two more games she decided to stop with Swiatek 3-0 up.

Sabalenka needed just 58 minutes to storm into her third straight Stuttgart final with a 6-1, 6-2 demolition of Potapova. The reigning Australian Open champion, who last year lost to Swiatek, broke her opponent twice to race into a 4-0 lead.

Potapova was playing catch-up throughout and looked vulnerable on her weak second serve. She was equally helpless in the second set with Sabalenka breaking early again and taking the first eight points. The world No 2 then raced back from 30-0 down with a string of big serves at 5-2 to finish off the game and reach her fourth final of the year.

Carlos Alcaraz reached the final of the Barcelona Open after beating Dan Evans 6-2, 6-2 to set up a showdown with Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated the Italian Lorenzo Musetti 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.

Alcaraz, who had an injury-plagued start to the season and was beaten in the semi-final of last week’s Miami Open by Jannik Sinner, was unstoppable against the Briton, even as he appeared to be conserving his energy for the claycourt season.


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