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STUTTGART: Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina holds her trophy as she jumps in front of her prize, a Porsche Taycan 4S Sport Turismo car, during the victory ceremony after she defeated Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk (not in picture) in the final match at the Women’s Tennis Grand Prix WTA tournament in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany. – AFP
STUTTGART: Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina holds her trophy as she jumps in front of her prize, a Porsche Taycan 4S Sport Turismo car, during the victory ceremony after she defeated Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk (not in picture) in the final match at the Women’s Tennis Grand Prix WTA tournament in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany. – AFP
Rybakina beats Kostyuk to win Stuttgart Open

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 beats 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 crowd, guys, it was an unbelievable week. It was nice to play every match here and fight. Your energy gives a lot during these tough matches.”

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.

Kostyuk also took the hard road to the final, beating top-10 opponents Zheng Qinwen, Coco Gauff and Marketa Vondrousova to reach Sunday’s match. “I want to congratulate Elena and her team. She’s had an amazing couple of seasons and it’s always a pleasure playing against you,” Kostyuk said after the match. – AFP

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