Alcaraz wins Barcelona, Rublev Wins in Belgrade
  | By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo Credit: Darren Carroll/USTA

 

A star-studded weekend of tennis took place across the globe, as Poland’s Iga Swiatek continued her dominance on the WTA Tour, while Carlos Alcaraz captured his third title of the season with a win in Barcelona, and Russia’s Andrey Rublev stunned Novak Djokovic in Belgrade.

Swiatek won her 23rd straight match with a 6-2, 6-2 drubbing of third-seed Aryna Sabalenka to win the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany on Sunday.

“I worked hard this week to adjust properly and to play my best tennis on this surface,” Swiatek said of preparing for the clay-court season. “I’m pretty proud of myself and pretty proud of my team because basically after yesterday’s match, it wasn’t easy to reset physically and mentally and be ready for today.”

Swiatek’s dominant 2022 has now put in her rarefied air. She has won 23 straight matches in the last 61 days, the most consecutive wins a player has had in that short of a time span since Serena Williams won that many matches in 58 days back in 2013.

“This is another tournament where I surprised myself. That I can do it and basically that I don’t need to be 100 percent perfectly prepared or I don’t need to feel 100 percent to still play really good tennis and play solid matches,” said Swiatek. “The transition was pretty quick and I had a lot of doubts. I just didn’t want to really focus on that and I just focused on what I have influence on. So, yeah, this is another tournament that has shown me that I can do it no matter what.”

Over in Barcelona, Alcaraz won in his home country over fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, claiming the title via a 6-3, 6-3 win on Sunday.

“It means a lot,” said Alcaraz. “I’ve watched this tournament since I was a kid. I always wished to play in this tournament and of course to be able to win this tournament. I’m really, really happy to be a part of the [historic] Spanish list.”

Alcaraz now moves into the Top 10 and sits at No. 9 in the world rankings.

In Belgrade, Rublev overcame top-ranked Djokovic as well as the Serbian crowd to win the Serbia Open, posting a 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-0 win.

“It is big to play against you and share the court for the second time,” Rublev said to Djokovic. “I hope we have more battles. I feel so great here, it is a very nice city. It feels really special. I want to say a big thanks to all the spectators for supporting the players all week. To see full crowds again is special for all of us.”

Both Djokovic and Rublev maintain their sports in the ATP World Tour rankings, at No. 1 and No. 8, respectively.