Ash Barty’s French Open campaign is off to a flying start.
The Aussie world number one took out the Stuttgart Open in Germany overnight to win just her second clay court title with a 3-6 6-0 6-3 triumph over Aryna Sabalenka.
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In the final of her first clay court tournament since she won the French Open, Barty lost the first set against Belarusian World No. 7 Sabalenka but bounced back in incredible fashion to win the Porsche Grand Prix.
Not only did she secure a trophy and 500 world ranking points, Barty also landed a Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo — and that might have been what hurt Sabalenka the most.
How it played out
After being broken late to drop the first set, Barty won the second set 6-0 and looked to be dominating.
Sabalenka went off for a medical time out between the second and third sets, returning to the court with taping on her right thigh.
Barty, who famously lost her Australian Open quarterfinal to Karolina Muchova after an injury time-out ruined her momentum, made no mistake against Sabalenka, going up 3-0 in the third set.
It was an incredible run of nine straight games before Sabalenka won her first in the third set.
She then broke the Aussie, before Barty hit straight back to lead 4-2.
The Belarusian was visibly frustrated, with beIN sports commentator Tina Krizan saying: “That’s what it’s like to play Ash Barty, she gets under the skin of so many opponents.”
She clearly did with Sabalenka throwing her racket off court at the end of the game, before sheepishly picking it up to congratulate Barty.
Barty became the first reigning World No. 1 to win the title since Justin Henin in 2007.
It’s Barty’s third title in 2021 after taking out the Miami Open and Australian Open warm up, the Yarra Valley Classic.
Along the way to the final, Barty had to beat World No. 5 Elina Svitolina and World No. 9 Karolina Pliskova, losing the first set in each before bouncing back to win each game and ultimately the tournament.
In continues an enviable record for the Aussie World No. 1.
She has won five of her last 11 events, defeated at least three top 10 players in her last four title runs and has a 17-3 record against top 10 players with a nine match winning streak since her win at the 2019 Miami Open.
Social media was quick to congratulate the Aussie star as he French Open campaign got off to the perfect start.