Doha: Iga Swiatek claims title after unfortunate Elena Rybakina injury changes final

Swiatek beat Rybakina to win her third consecutive Doha title.

by Dzevad Mesic
Doha: Iga Swiatek claims title after unfortunate Elena Rybakina injury changes final
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Iga Swiatek has won her third consecutive Doha title after recovering from a slow start to beat Elena Rybakina. 

Rybakina, who was bidding to win her first Doha title, was playing a very determined tennis early on and she was up all over Swiatek. But then, up by a double break and having a 4-1 lead, Rybakina hit herself in the leg as she was finishing her serve. 

Since there was a cut and some blood on Rybakina's leg, the match had to be briefly stopped so the 24-year-old Kazakh could get medical assistance. When the match continued, Swiatek won four consecutive games. 

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

In the end, Swiatek went on to beat Rybakina 7-6 (8) 6-2.

While Swiatek undoubtedly started to play much better midway through the first set, there is no doubt that the moment when Rybakina injured herself and required a medical timeout was a turning point in the opener and ultimately the match. 

How Swiatek defeated Rybakina?

Rybakina came out absolutely firing early in the match, breaking Swiatek in the first and fifth games for a 4-1 lead. Up by a double break, Rybakina had a chance to push her first-set lead to 5-1. But then, the unfortunate moment happened and Rybakina lost the sixth and the next three games as Swiatek went from 1-4 down to 5-4 up.

Serving to stay in the first set, Rybakina managed to hold to her serve in the 10th game and then break Swiatek in the following game for a 6-5 lead. Just when it seemed that the momentum was again on Rybakina's side, the Kazakh failed to serve out for the first set as Swiatek broke back to send the opener into a decider, where the Pole saved a set point before converting her own fourth set point to win a tight first set.

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

After losing the first set, Rybakina missed out on two break points in the second game and paid the price for that as Swiatek claimed the opening break of the second set in the third game. Already up by a set and a break, Swiatek broke Rybakina again in the seventh game for a 5-2 lead before serving out for the Doha title in the following game.

Iga Swiatek Elena Rybakina