Swiatek Beats Gauff, Sabalenka Stops Collins, Rivalry Resumes In Rome Masters Final

by Staff | May 16th, 2024, 10:06 pm
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For the second straight clay Masters event, Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka will meet for a title. This time, the two best women on the planet will meet Saturday for the Rome Masters crown.

Swiatek, a 2-time Rome champion, upped her win streak to 11 defeating Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-3. It was her 10th win in 11 tries over the 20-year-old American.

Gauff got out of peril in the opening game then broke Swiatek to go 2-0. But Swiatek, as she does so often, got into gear as the double faults returned for Gauff.

Gauff was in her first clay semifinal since the 2022 French Open.

“I would say from just this match, I feel more negative emotions right now,” Gauff said after. “Looking at the whole tournament from where I started to now, I definitely feel like it’s major improvement.

“Against probably anybody else today, I would have won the match. I wanted to be aggressive, which I felt like I did. I think I missed some balls in some clutch moments. That’s what being aggressive is. I think if I continue to play in this way, I will be more consistent in that.”

Sabalenka took the court in the evening against the hot-handed Danielle Collins. The irritating American had won 19 of her last 20 with the lone loss coming to Sabalenka in Madrid in three sets. Today, Sabalenka needed just two with a 7-5, 6-2. She’s now 6-0 against Collins.

Swiatek and Sabalenka will meet for an 11th time, and second this month after an epic 3-set final in Madrid.

“That match definitely hurt me,” Sabalenka said of missing three match points in that final. “It was a really tough loss, especially after having some match points, even though she played great tennis. Hopefully here in Rome I can get the win and get the title.”

Swiatek will try to become the first woman to sweep Madrid and Rome since Serena Williams 11 years ago in 2013.

“Honestly, I don’t think it makes sense to think about these two matches as one continuing story because it’s a totally different tournament,” Swiatek said. “Well, different week, as well. It’s not like it’s going to be the same.

“I’ll try to be in the present, not really think about Madrid. Obviously I need to analyze this match in terms of the tactics. Not too much, as well, because it was pretty tight. I think we both could have done some things better.”

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