Swiatek titled for the third time in Rome

Swiatek titled for the third time in Rome
Swiatek titled for the third time in Rome

Iga Swiatek won against Aryna Sabalenka (6-2, 6-3) in the final of the Masters 1000 in Rome, this Saturday afternoon.

Iga Swiatek, intractable, consolidated her status as big favorite for her own succession at Roland-Garros (May 26-June 9) by winning the WTA 1000 tournament in Rome for the third time on Saturday.

As in 2021 and 2022, Swiatek ruled the roost at the Foro Italico: the Pole did not lose a set during her fifth participation in the Roman tournament and delivered her best performance during a long one-sided final.

At the age of 22, she accomplished a rare feat, achieved only twice, the last time in 2013 by Serena Williams, with the Madrid-Rome clay court double.

Her runner-up in the world ranking, Aryna Sabalenka, was dominated in two sets 6-2, 6-3, without being able to worry her, except at the start of the second round where she offered herself seven balls of break, without being able to realize them. “Against Iga, there are never easy points, it’s always difficult to finish the points. She is not world number one for nothing, she is really very strong in all aspects of her game.noted the Belarusian.

“She never gave me a chance to install my game”, regretted the world No.2 who, in the semi-finals against the American Danielle Collins, had, in her usual barrage of powerful blows, introduced some drop shots. Two weeks after their homeric final in Madrid, where Sabalenka had three match points before losing 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (9/7), their eleventh clash this time did not reach a peaks and resulted in an eighth success for Swiatek.

Four titles in 2024

The Pole, who won the 21st title of her career, the fourth in 2024 after Doha, Indian Wells and Madrid, took the advantage in the third game by taking her opponent’s service. Visibly frustrated by her numerous unforced errors and put under pressure by Swiatek, very aggressive in returning service, Sabalenka, 26, once again lost her face-off to be led 5-2.

After a one-sided first set lost in 36 minutes, Sabalenka rebelled and offered herself seven break points in the second and fourth games, without however realizing them. Swiatek, for the first time in this difficult final, turned his back, then broke his opponent for the third time to give himself a decisive advantage.

Before returning to Parisian clay where she has already won three times (2020, 2022, 2023), her statistics on this surface are impressive. She was playing her eleventh final on clay and only lost two. On gravel, her record for the year is now 14 victories for a single defeat inflicted on Stuttgart by Elena Rybakina, who withdrew from Rome.

“It was a great final, another great tournament, you pushed me again to give the best of myself”launched Swiatek to Sabalenka during the protocol ceremony. “I hope we meet in the final at Roland Garros, and that this time I will beat you”the Belarusian replied, without much conviction.

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