Ash Barty Reigns in Stuttgart

Barty wins two WTA titles and is the first to three tour titles this year at the Stuttgart Open.  

By Ashton Kowalski

The Stuttgart Open is a women’s tennis tournament held in Stuttgart, Germany. It began in 1978 and is a favorite among many players. This indoor tournament is sponsored by Porsche, which gave the event its name, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Ash Barty remains a dominant player on the WTA tour, especially after her impressive win at the Stuttgart Open. 

Many WTA title holders attended this tournament, and though No. 1 Ash Barty (AUS) was the favorite walking into the event, fellow top-ranked players like No. 3 Simon Halep (Romania) and No. 4 Sophia Kenin (USA) were not going down without a fight. Defending champion Petra Kvitoka came into the tournament as the seventh seed. 

Barty soaking in her victory and her new ride at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (SOURCE: reuters.com)

The top seeds had high hopes to leave Stuttgart as champions, but Barty triumphed once again to make tournament history. Barty has had a successful year so far, with five WTA final titles in a row and a 10-match win streak that has come against top-10 players in her last matches. 

Barty went against No. 7 Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) in the finals of the Stuttgart Open after she battled back from a set down against three top 10 players in a row during the last three rounds. She first beat No. 9 Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) 2–6, 6–1, 7–5 in the quarterfinals, then No. 5 Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) 4–6, 7–6 (7–5), 6–2 in the semifinals, and then defeated  Sabalenka in the championship match 3–6, 6–0, 6–3.

Barty is officially the first player, male or female, to win three tour-level titles this year. Her winning pace speaks to the kind of player she is, aggressive, powerful, and consistent. Barty rang in her 25th birthday on the court by winning her semifinal match against Svitolina. Her position as the No. 1 seed in this tournament for the third year in a row shows Barty’s determination to be the best. Even at a young age, Barty owns an old school style of play that can be intimidating to her opponents. 

Barty is almost like a tennis version of a young Michael Jordan. Her athleticism is versatile and unique, she even switched to professional cricket for a few years out of pure love for the sport. After her hiatus, she came back to her tennis career and rose once again to the top, winning title after title. Many players view her as their greatest competition, noting her grit and confidence that allow her to remain calm even in tense match situations. 

Doubles partners Ash Barty and Jennifer Brady brought the heat at the Stuttgart Open en route to Barty’s second tournament title of the Open. (SOURCE: WTA Insider

Barty fixed her eyes on not just the singles title of the Stuttgart Open, but also the doubles title. Barty and partner, No. 14 Jennifer Brady (USA), came back to the court shortly after Barty reigned in the singles title. The duo played against the USA’s doubles pairing Desirae Krawczyk No. 19 and Bethanie Mattek-Sands No. 16 and came out on top with a 6–4, 5–7, 10–5 win. 

Barty is the first player in Stuttgart Open history to sweep both the singles and doubles crowns since Lindsay Davenport (USA) accomplished the feat in 2001. This is old news for Barty as she completed her first sweep in 2017 at a WTA 250 event in Kuala Lumpur. Barty’s impressive appetite to win is not surprising to anyone who has watched her pave her own path to success over the years.  

Next on the radar for Barty is the French Open which will be held in Paris, France beginning Monday, May 24 and finishing Sunday, June 13. For more information on this tournament click here

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