Swiatek Brushes Sabalenka Aside to Win Third Italian Open Title

Swiatek Brushes Sabalenka Aside to Win Third Italian Open Title

Top-ranked Iga Swiatek dominated No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, winning the Italian Open final 6-2, 6-3, claiming her third trophy on Rome’s red clay.

Swiatek didn’t drop a set at the Foro Italico, extending her winning streak to 12 matches. She defeated No. 3 Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-3 in the semifinals. Next weekend marks the beginning of Roland Garros, where Swiatek hopes to win a record-tying third title in Paris and fourth overall.

Sabalenka praised Swiatek and made a joke about defeating her at Roland Garros at the award ceremony. After Serena Williams in 2013, Swiatek became the first female to win Madrid and Rome consecutively. The Madrid Open final, where Swiatek defeated Sabalenka on three match points, was a stark contrast to this one.

Sabalenka was pushed to make mistakes by Swiatek’s movement and precise groundstrokes. In her first two service games of the second set, Swiatek saved seven break points and made only eight unforced errors, as opposed to Sabalenka’s 28. With the victory, Swiatek’s lifetime record against Sabalenka was improved to 8-3 and her record in Rome to 20-2. She also defeated Sabalenka in Madrid last year and went on to win nine successive finals.