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Swiatek beats Sabalenka, qualifies for Rome final

By Guardian Nigeria
15 May 2022   |   4:01 am
Iga Swiatek continued her remarkable winning run to reach the Internazionali d’Italia final as she defeated Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-1.

Poland’s Iga Swiatek (R) and Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka shake hands after Swiatek won their semifinal match at the WTA Rome Open Women’s tennis tournament on May 14, 2022 at Foro Italico in Rome. Tiziana FABI / AFP

Iga Swiatek continued her remarkable winning run to reach the Internazionali d’Italia final as she defeated Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-1.

Top seed, Swiatek extended to 26 matches unbeaten, dating back to mid-February, with victory over Bianca Andreescu to set up the last-four meeting with Sabalenka, who battled past Amanda Anisimova.

The pair exchanged opening breaks in a tentative start to the clash in the Italian capital before Sabalenka again failed to hold her serve as Pole Swiatek took an early 3-1 lead.

World number eight, Sabalenka, the third seed in the tournament, offered little response as the in-form Swiatek then claimed the first set with ease.

Sabalenka was again caught cold and had no answer as world number one Swiatek raced out the blocks in the second set, breaking twice via marathon rallies, to gain a 4-0 lead.

Swiatek swiftly wrapped victory up, despite a short medical time out for her opponent, and has now won all three of her WTA Tour encounters with Sabalenka in 2022, conceding just 12 games in the process.

Meanwhile, in the last 25 years only Serena Williams in 2013, Kim Clijsters in 2003 and Martina Hingis in 1998 have reached the final in Rome with fewer games dropped than Iga Swiatek this season (17).

The 20-year-old Swiatek continues on her quest for a fourth straight WTA 1000 crown and fifth consecutive title and in the final will face either Ons Jabeur or Daria Kasatkina, who face off later yesterday.

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