ELENA Rybakina of Kazakhstan poses with the trophy after winning the Stuttgart Grand Prix final against Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk at the Tennis Club Weissenhof.—AFP
ELENA Rybakina of Kazakhstan poses with the trophy after winning the Stuttgart Grand Prix final against Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk at the Tennis Club Weissenhof.—AFP

STUTTGART: Kazakh fourth seed Elena Ryba­kina defeated Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in straight sets to win the WTA event in Stuttgart on Sunday.

2022 Wimbledon champion Rybakina beat Kostyuk 6-2, 6-2 in one hour nine minutes, ending the 21-year-old Ukrai­nian’s giant-killing run at the tournament.

The world number four broke Kostyuk twice in the first set and twice in the second, fighting off three break points from the world number 27 to lift her eighth career title.

Rybakina how holds a 2-1 record against Kost­yuk.

“I want to congratulate Marta for a great tournament. You’re playing really well and hopefully we play many more finals,” Rybakina said.

The title is her third of 2024, having already won in Brisbane and Abu Dhabi and it is the first time she has won three WTA titles in one year.

Sunday’s victory was also the 24-year-old’s third title win on clay in her career.

Rybakina needed to overcome world number one Iga Swiatek in Satur­day’s semi-final.

Rybakina took three hours to overcome the four-time grand slam winner and shattering her 10-match winning streak at the tournament, which included capturing the last two titles.

Published in Dawn, April 23nd, 2024

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