Grand Slam champions collect WTA titles in Stuttgart and Rouen

Elena Rybakina and Sloane Stephens win WTA clay court titles
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It is clay court season, and two Grand Slam champions collected titles today in Stuttgart, Germany, and Rouen, France. 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina won her third title of the year and first ever at the WTA 500 Porsche Grand Prix. Rybakina was the odds-on favorite after defeating World No. 1, two-time defending champion, and the clay court aficionado of the WTA Tour Iga Swiatek on Saturday. 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens collected her victory at the WTA 250 Rouen Open.

Rybakina's win also earns her a brand-new Porsche which is ironic because the 24 year old does not even have a driver's license. She defeated Marta Kostyuk in straight sets. Kostyuk had a fantastic week battling back against Qinwen Zheng and Coco Gauff when she had match points against her.

Rybakina's serve won her the 6-2, 6-2 match. Only during two games in the second set did she face serious challenges on her serve. Otherwise, she won quick games and continuously pressured Kostyuk's serve. Kostyuk should not be disappointed because of her phenomenal week of taking out Top 10 players and grinding through multiple three-set marathons. Kostyuk's World No. 27 singles ranking will rise if she continues to play the quality and caliber of tennis she played in Stuttgart this week.

Sloane Stephens wins in Rouen

Fans know that Sloane Stephens loves the clay. Though her Grand Slam win is on the US Open hardcourts, she plays some of her best tennis on clay. That was evident this week in Rouen as Stephens beat Peyton Stearns, Karolina Pliskova, Yue Yahn, and Caroline Garcia before defeating Linette in straight sets.

Stephens grabbed her eighth career WTA singles title with a statement win over Linette. American fans focused on top-ranked players such as Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula should keep a watchful eye out for Stephens headed into Roland Garros. It is the Grand Slam she covets the most, and it would be exciting to see her contend for it. She was a French Open finalist in 2018 losing to Simona Halep.

She is a threat in both singles and doubles. Stephens recently won her first-ever doubles title on the clay at Charleston with American partner Ashlyn Krueger.

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