Stuttgart [Germany], April 21 (ANI): Fourth seed Elena Rybakina ended World No. 1 Iga Swiatek's campaign for a third title at the Stuttgart Open with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 triumph in the semifinals.

Rybakina's 2-hour, 49-minute victory ended Swiatek's 10-match winning streak at the competition and ensured that a new champion would be crowned at the Porsche Arena. In the final, Rybakina will face unseeded Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk.

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"It was a very tough match, like always, against Iga. Really happy that I won on clay. Gives confidence, of course," Rybakina said as quoted by WTA.

Swiatek began the encounter as if poised to extend her unbeaten record in Stuttgart to 11. She led 2-0 in the first set and had two break points to go ahead 3-0.

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From there, the match was almost always played on Rybakina's terms. The Kazakhs maintained consistent pressure on Swiatek's serve throughout the match, creating 20 break-point opportunities across three sets. Swiatek saved 16 of them, but the combination of seven double faults and 42 unforced errors contributed to the result.

"I think the return definitely improved from last year from both angles. Of course it depends on the opponent, a bit of the speed of the serve, and of course placement. But since we played with Iga many times, more or less I try to predict where she's going to go, and [I'm] really happy with the return and overall with the game," Rybakina said.

Rybakina won five consecutive games in the first set and had four set chances to win the sixth. She finally seized a one-set lead on her fifth set point, saving a break point that would have brought the match back to serve.

Swiatek broke serve for the first time since the match's opening game to extend the second set. In the decider, the World No.1 saved the first eight break points she faced, but the match was decided on the ninth. Rybakina won three straight games from 2-1 down (after Swiatek swatted away the sixth break point in the 1-1 game), giving her a lead she never gave up.

In the day's second semifinal, 27th-ranked Kostyuk grabbed a straight-sets win at last, toppling No.6 seed Marketa Vondrousova 7-6(2), 6-2. (ANI)

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