Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek has now won the Qatar Open three times in a row after she beat Elena Rybakina in the 2024 final. Aleksandra Szmigiel/Reuters

Poland's Iga Swiatek continued her recent dominance at the Qatar Open as she beat Elena Rybakina in the 2024 final on Saturday in Doha.

The top seed secured a 7-6 (10-8) 6-2 win over the third seed to record three wins in as many years at the tournament. This year's edition of the Qatar Open was the first 1000 event of the 2024 WTA Tour schedule.

After winning her first piece of silverware in 2024, Swiatek now has 18 career titles to her name, which include four Grand Slam triumphs and seven WTA 1000 wins.

Swiatek came into the final with more rest than Rybakina as she was handed a walkover in her semi-final match last Friday due to her opponent, Karoline Pliskova, pulling out with a back injury. Rybakina put away Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets to secure her place in the final.

Despite Swiatek's previous success in Doha, Rybakina would have had confidence going into the final as she had already won the Brisbane International and Abu Dhabi Open in 2024. Also, the Kazakh beat Swiatek in all three of the head-to-head meetings between the pair last year.

Rybakina did start Saturday's contest on the front foot as she landed a break in the very first game of the opening set after Swiatek hit four unforced errors. Not long after, Rybakina broke Swiatek again to go 4-1 up and looked to be on the verge of winning the first set.

However, Rybakina's momentum then stalled as she accidentally injured her left shin with her racket, which led to bleeding and a medical timeout.

Swiatek took advantage of her opponent's setback and won four straight games to go 5-4 in front. Rybakina managed to halt Swiatek's charge and pulled the score back to 5-5 in her service game.

The Kazakh then broke Swiatek the following game to have the chance to serve for the set, but the world number one refused to back down and broke back to force a tiebreaker.

The tie-break was a tight affair as Rybakina kept cutting Swiatek's lead to keep her chances alive, but after leading 9-8, the Polish star struck a backhand shot on Rybakina's serve to clinch the opening set.

After both players held their serve in the opening games of the second set, Rybakina's forehand effort in her second service game did not clear the net, leading to a break and a 2-1 lead for Swiatek.

Swiatek remained in control of the contest and got closer to victory when she broke Rybakina again to lead 5-2 and be able to serve for the championship. After not converting her first championship point, Swiatek then sealed her win with an impressive high backhand volley.

The Polish star's latest win in Qatar makes her the first player to claim a WTA singles title in three consecutive years since Serena Williams came out on top at the Miami Open from 2013-2015.

After her victory, Swiatek reflected on her achievement of securing three successive titles in Qatar, saying: "I came here and I was just pretty stressed because of that because I felt the expectations. But I wanted to just do everything step by step as I always do and again it worked."

The world number one added: "So thank you to my team also for keeping me on the ground and focusing on the right stuff because achieving that is great. I'm really happy and really proud of myself."

Both Swiatek and Rybakina will be back in action this week as they are competing at the Dubai Tennis Championships, another WTA 1000 event. On Tuesday, Swiatek will take on the United States' Sloane Stephens whilst Rybakina will be in action on the same day against Belarus's Victoria Azarenka.

Swiatek will be aiming to go one better in Dubai this year, as she lost in straight sets to Czech star, Barbora Krejcikova, in the 2023 final.

Elsewhere, on the ATP tour, Jannik Sinner followed up on his maiden Grand Slam win at the Australian Open by winning the Rotterdam Open. The Italian beat Australia's Alex de Minaur 7-5 6-4 in the final on Sunday.