The select group of players who have claimed the Mutua Madrid Open title on more than one occasion now has a new member in Aryna Sabalenka. The two-time champion of the WTA 1000 in the Spanish capital has added her name to those of Petra Kvitova (3), Serena Williams (2) and Simona Halep (2).
As if her achievement weren’t enough, the current Australian Open champion had to see off the world number one in both of her finals in the Manolo Santana Stadium. In 2021 Sabalenka beat Australian player Ashleigh Barty (6-0, 3-6, 6-4), while this year’s final was against Pole Iga Swiatek (6-3, 3-6, 6-3).
Kvitova remains the queen of the Madrid clay with three crowns in the Caja Mágica (2011, 2015 and 2018). The Czech, like Sabalenka and Williams, has a one hundred percent record in MMOPEN finals. In her first, she outfoxed Victoria Azarenka (7-6, 6-4), only to do likewise four years later to Svetlana Kuznetsova (6-1, 6-2), and completed her hat-trick against Kiki Bertens (7-6, 4-6, 6-3).
Serena Williams was the first player ever to successfully defend her title on the Madrid clay (2012 and 2013). The American’s first trophy came after taking down Azarenka, in what was her second unsuccessful final (6-1, 6-3). For title number two, it was Maria Sharapova who was on the receiving end of a straight-sets defeat (6-1, 6-4).
Halep has also taken the spoils two years on the trot (2016 and 2017). The Romanian has reached more finals (4) than any other woman at the MMOPEN. She could have opened her account in 2014, when she lost out to Sharapova, but she made up for it two years later against Dominica Cibulkova (6-2, 6-4) and the following season, when she sunk French player Kristina Mladenovic in the final (7-5, 6-7, 6-2).
In 2019 Halep had a chance to equal Kvitova on three titles, but she fell at the final hurdle against a Bertens who is another of the players to have competed in multiple Mutua Madrid Open finals.