World No.1 Ashleigh Barty has become the first WTA player since Lindsay Davenport in 2001 to win both the singles and doubles titles at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.
On her tournament debut in Stuttgart, Barty defeated Aryna Sabalenka 3-6 6-0 6-3 in the singles final. Right after lifting the singles trophy, the Australian returned to the court to take the doubles crown together with Jennifer Brady, as the pair defeated Bethanie-Mattek Sands and Desirae Krawczyk in the doubles final, 6-4 5-7 10-5.
Mattek-Sands commented on Barty sweeping Stuttgart: “Ash, damn, you gotta get the car AND all the prize money? I guess we all just gotta go work harder. I’m going to go do some sprints on the practice court now.”
In the singles final, the 25-year-old Barty fought back from a set down for the third time in as many matches.
The fifth-seeded Sabalenka started feeling pain in her adductor midway through the opening set. The Belarusian played through the pain, won the first set, but it kept getting worse and Barty took the second set in 23 minutes. Even though Barty was broken at 3-1 in the decider, she confidently marched to victory, as Sabalenka was playing with strapping on her right leg.
Barty had a first-round bye in Stuttgart. She opened her campaign with a victory over home favorite Laura Siegemund in the second round, then recovered from 5-3 down in the final set and survived twice being within two points of defeat to beat No.9 Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals, on her 25th birthday completed a comeback win over No.5 Elina Svitolina in the semis and in the end eliminated Sabalenka to clinch her third WTA title of 2021.
Barty has now won her past ten matches against Top 10 opposition. She will keep the No.1 ranking following the tournament. Next week will be her 73rd overall at the top (ninth on the all-time list) and 65th consecutive week.
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