Sabalenka, Collins Advance To Rome Masters SF Showdown; Swiatek v Gauff

by Staff | May 15th, 2024, 7:07 pm
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It’s hard to argue for more looking at the Rome Masters women’s semifinal line-up. Today, the final four was set with Aryna Sabalenka and Danielle Collins getting through in straight sets.

Sabalenka was up first as eased past Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4. The world No. 2 never faced a break point and lost just seven points on first set. It was quite an easy affair after having to save three match points a round earlier when her lower back flared up.

“I was testing my body on the warmup and I felt, `OK, I’m probably going to go on the court and play,'” Sabalenka said. “And I’m super happy I was able to play without pain today. Hopefully, with every day I will feel better and better.

“I would definitely say that was the best performance of the tournament.”

Collins continued her torrid run taking out former finalist Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-3. Collins has now won 19 of her last 20 matches with the lone loss to Sabalenka in three sets earlier this month in Madrid. She’s 0-5 against the Belarussian.

“I’m going out with a bang,” Collins said to the wTA. “I want to go out playing my best tennis because I certainly wouldn’t want to go out playing my worst tennis. That does happen sometimes, unfortunately. It’s important for me to feel like I got everything I could out of myself as an athlete.

“It’s super rewarding because you go through periods where you might take three steps forward and four steps back some weeks,” Collins added. “It’s kind of like the stock market. It’s really up and down sometimes.

“So it’s been nice to have a stretch when I’ve just been climbing, because it’s not always like that. You have to be really happy for yourself in these moments because it doesn’t always work out that way.”

Also tomorrow, Iga Swiatek collides with Coco Gauff for an 11th time. Swiatek leads 9-1 over the American but they haven’t met this year.

“I think it’s fun,” Swiatek said of the match-up. “I think that’s how we create kind of a bigger story sometimes behind these matches. So I like it. It’s a challenge. It’s interesting I think for the fans, as well.”

Swiatek has won her last 10 matches as she seeks a third Rome Masters title.

“It feels like a new start for me,” Gauff said Wednesday. “This is my first time playing her on clay since Roland Garros last year. I feel like a different player.

“I’m coming into these matches with a lot of confidence. If I can go into the match playing like I did tonight, win or lose, I think I have a lot to be proud of.”

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