Opponent's perfect reply after Ash Barty comeback wins Porsche

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Aryna Sabalenka looking annoyed as Ash Barty holds her trophy aloft in front of her new Porsche.
Aryna Sabalenka was clearly keen on the Porsche that Ash Barty claimed for winning the Stuttgart decider. Pic: Getty

Aryna Sabalenka may have lost her Stuttgart Open final against Aussie World No.1 Ash Barty, but she won the internet.

Barty became the first woman since Lindsey Davenport in 2001 to win both the singles and doubles titles in Stuttgart, in a stunning 20-year first.

The 25-year-old cemented her status as the world's best female tennis player after another come-from-behind victory in the final - overpowering Sabalenka 3-6 6-0 6-3 in the decider for her 11th career title.

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In winning the singles tournament - also known as the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix - Barty also walked away with a shiny new sports car from the tournament sponsors.

The Aussie was photographed with the stunning Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo, before being asked whether she intended to test out the top speed on her new set of wheels.

“No, driving Miss Daisy over here," Barty nonchalantly replied.

The Aussie's response must have been a further dagger to the heart of Sabalenka, who was clearly relishing the prospect of being the owner of a new Porsche.

However, the Belarusian showed her class with a perfect social media post in the aftermath of her heartbreak.

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Barty had just over an hour's rest between the singles final and the doubles decider, where she joined forces with Australia Open finalist Brady, to beat the top-seeded US pairing Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Desirae Krawczyk 6-4 5-7 [10-5].

It made Barty the first reigning World No.1 since Justine Henin in 2007 to win in Stuttgart and the first since Davenport 20 years earlier to win both finals at the same tournament there.

"It's extremely humbling to be even mentioned in the same sentence as both Justine and Lindsay, they're both legends of the game," she said.

After her singles win, Barty was presented with her 68,570 Euros ($A107,074) winner's cheque and her new car.

Seen here, Ash Barty poses with the trophy after winning the Stuttgart Open.
Ash Barty's win in Stuttgart was her third singles title of 2021. Pic: Getty

Barty forced to come from behind again

It was another performance full of skill and resilience to dismantle the Belarusian's power game and win her third singles title of the year.

For the third day running after come-from-behind wins over Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina, the Queenslander dug deep on the indoor clay after dropping the first set.

Sabalenka, who needed a medical timeout at the end of a second set drubbing, was in tears at one of the changeovers in the deciding final set, struggling not just with a heavily-strapped right thigh but also with Barty's supreme, bamboozling all-court game.

Sabalenka said she had been suffering a lot of pain from an adductor muscle issue that had flared up in the first set.

The triumph, Barty's 10th successive over a fellow top-10 player, saw her shoot to the top of the WTA's 'Race to Shenzhen', the order of merit system that identifies the year's top woman player.

It was her first European tournament on clay since triumphing in the 2019 French Open and she looked in the sort of form to regain the trophy that she decided not to defend last year.

"There is a first for everything, isn't there?" laughed Barty after being asked if it was the first time she'd won a bright green Porsche and two titles at the same tournament.

"This week's been phenomenal for me. I've certainly felt like I'm taking my tennis to a kind of a new level in a sense of being able to be calm and play with freedom and play without consequence in a way."

with AAP

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